Our secondary is not prepared for high-caliber wideouts. This is not a surprise; this is confirmation of what I thought about our secondary even prior to the pre-season. (Vontae Davis was a decent if overpriced pickup, but he doesn’t solve the problems, he just lessens them.
Our linebackers are better than I thought they would be. There were Gary Brackett-style moves from previously unknown players, and Robert Mathis certainly was not slowed down by his new position. Freeney, of course, was hurt too early for me to make a good call on his adapting.
Our D-line seemed merely adequate. They didn’t generally screw things up, but they also did almost nothing outstanding.
Our O-Line is much better at opening holes for the run, but they need to focus on their pass protection. Samson Satele, in particulr, seemed pusharoundable, which surprised me.
Our receivers are so raw. Dropped passes that should have been caught, sloppy routes from a couple of them, and trouble breaking tackles. I am still concerned about how often Coby Fleener seems unprepared for the arrival of the ball.
Our running game… I’m not sure what to say. Donald Brown still seems to be boom-or-bust , but with a majority on bust. There are times he looks elite, but more often, he looks unimpressive. Vick Ballard needs to figure out if he’s a one-cut back or a scat back, and then he needs to convince us.
Andrew Luck obviously had some problems — four turnovers — but I really only blame him for two of those. (Two is still too many.) If the O-Line could have kept pressure off of him a little bit longer, I think he would have looked pretty good. As it is, the plays that were not turnovers were mostly good. I’ll say what I’ve been saying, and what many actual experts have been saying — he doesn’t look like a rookie out there. Yes, there were definitely issues, but I didn’t see anything that made my heart sink (as I probably would have if I were, say, a Browns or Dolphins fan).
I’m still very happy that we kept Patty-Mac, and Lefeged proved that a lousy Scrabble™ rack can turn out to be a great special teamer. So far, though, I have not been impressed with anyone else. Even Vinny let me down by shanking that 37-yarder wide right.
As always, it’s difficult to separate performance from coaching, and in general I didn’t have a problem with our play-calling (just our execution). The one thing that bothered me only bothered me a little: having the first play be a pass play, which struck me as being very obvious. …Although I just remembered one other thing. Whose idea was it to try to cover Brandon Marshall with Cassius Vaughn?
Compared to some other games that went on today, not terrible, but there were several times that they missed some obvious line calls (offsides, false start, etc) and a couple times that I think the regular refs would have called fouls that they didn’t.
Worse than I expected, scorewise, but all in all there were enough glimmers of promise that I’m optimistic for this season not being anywhere near as dire as last. Everyone knew the Bears were going to be a tough out, and they were.