The Chicago Bears performed like one of the worst teams in the NFL during Sunday's 26-0 loss to the Seattle Seahawks. The performance of the offense was one of the worst in decades, with the team accumulating just 146 total yards. The Bears punted on all 10 possessions, the first time in 35 years an NFL team has punted on every possession, while the shutout was Chicago's first since 2002.
The final score was as lopsided as Donald Trump's poll numbers in most of the swing states, yet not every Bears unit performed poorly.
Here are my game grades from the Week 3 defeat.
Bears fans are accustomed to poor quarterback performances, yet Jimmy Clausen took it to another level in Seattle. He completed 9 of 17 passes for 63 yards and no scores, good for a 67.7 QB rating. He was indecisive, both pre- and post-snap, and inaccurate all day. Clausen wasn't helped by receivers that couldn't get open and a leaky offensive line but his level of incompetence is inexcusable, no matter the circumstance.
Running Back: C
The Bears were committed to Matt Forte yesterday, running the ball on 15 of their first 19 snaps, often behind jumbo formations. He finished with 20 carries for 74 yards (3.7 avg.) but did not haul in a single reception. It was only the second time in Forte's career he's gone an entire game without catching a pass - the only other time came in Week 1 of 2009. His ineffectiveness as a receiver played a big role in Chicago's inability to gain yards through the air. Surprisingly, Jeremy Langford did not touch the ball in a game the Bears tried to carry with the rushing attack. Instead, Jacquizz Rodgers got four carries for 11 yards, while no other running back had a single touch.
Wide Receiver: D-
The Bears are without their top two wideouts and were facing the toughest secondary in the NFL. As a result, Eddie Royal caught just three passes for 17 yards, and no other receiver on the team had a reception. Marquess Wilson and Josh Bellamy were targeted two times each but could not secure a pass. In general, this unit failed miserably to beat man coverage or find soft spots in zone sets. Until the return of Alshon Jeffery and Kevin White, don't expect much from this group going forward.
Tight end: C-
Martellus Bennett had a good game as a blocker but he was once again quiet in the passing game. He's the healthiest, most reliable target the Bears have but he just can't get going. He finished with just four catches for 15 yards. Through three games, Bennett is averaging three catches for 39 yards - and if it weren't for a 24-yard garbage-time TD in the final minute of the Week 1 contest, those numbers would be much worse. At some point, Bennett needs to pick up the slack and dominate the middle of the field.
Offensive LIne: C
The offensive line wasn't outstanding but they weren't as bad as many are suggesting. RG Vladimir Ducasse had another rough outing, giving up two QB hurries and a QB hit (per Pro Football Focus) and picked up his fifth penalty in three games. Jermon Bushrod gave up two pressures before leaving due to a concussion, yet his replacement, Charles Leno, was stout and did not allow a QB hurry. Kyle Long gave up the only sack of any offensive lineman, although the massive, awkward cast on his hand made life on Sunday very difficult. And even though Seattle had at least eight players in the box throughout the game, the Bears still managed to rush for 98 yards. Again, not great but definitely not horrible.
Defensive Line: B-
DE Jarvis Jenkins had 2.0 sacks, which equals his four-year career sack total, and led the team with 10 combined tackles. It was a standout performance and showed his potential as a disruptive 3-4 defensive end. As a group, Chicago's down linemen held the Seahawks to just 39 rushing yards in the first half, before wearing down in the final two quarters due an inept offense that couldn't stay on the field.
Outside Linebacker: B+
Pernell McPhee picked up 2.0 sacks on the day to go along with seven combined tackles, two for loss. He was a violent force off the edge who was dominant against both the run and pass. It took him a while to find his groove but McPhee appears to be well worth the big money he was paid this off-season. Jared Allen once again did very little as a pass rusher but Sam Acho played well in limited snaps, while Lamarr Houston had two QB hits. Other than Allen - and Willie Young, who was a healthy scratch - the Bears outside linebackers had a strong game.
Inside Linebacker: C+
Shea McClellin played every snap on defense and finished with six combined tackles. He was effective as a blitzer, picking up four QB hurries, but he didn't have much of an overall impact, particularly in coverage. Christian Jones picked up six tackles as well, five of which were at or behind the line of scrimmage. Jones showed very good aggressiveness against the run, although, like McClellin, he still struggles in coverage.
The Bears finallly got a quality performance from the club's cornerbacks. Alan Ball had nine tackles and a pass breakup and twice thwarted goal-line fade passes in the end zone from Russell Wilson. It was by far Ball's strongest outing of the year. Sherrick McManis played very well out of the slot and even Kyle Fuller didn't do anything stupid, pickup up his first pass breakup of the season. Even Tracy Porter, who played just five snaps as the club's dime back, picked up two QB hurries as a blitzer.
Adrian Amos had a better game than he did last week but he must become more reliable in run support. Antrel Rolle was dependable on the back end and led the team with 10 tackles. The biggest reason for the C grade is because of Brock Vereen. He played just three snaps but on one he was beat by tight end Jimmy Graham on a crossing route and then missed the post-catch tackle, which allowed Graham to score a touchdown. Vereen does not appear to be a long-term option for the Bears.
Coaching Staff: B-
John Fox had the Bears prepared for this contest and the team showed a lot of heart, despite being two-touchdown underdogs. Offensive coordinator Adam Gase stayed committed to the run and used jumbo packages for much of the first half, which was a sound strategy, one that ate up the clock and kept the Bears within six points at halftime. Defensive coordinator Vic Fangio also executed an effective game plan, finding ways to pressure Wilson without compromising the back end.
The staff grade would be even higher if it weren't for special teams coordinator Jeff Rodgers, whose kickoff coverage unit allowed a return touchdown for the second week in a row. Then his punt return group was faked out horribly on an early punt, resulting in a 62-yard return by Richard Sherman. Rodgers has a lot of work ahead of him.