Noots' Notes

The Bears' hopes for the 2005 season were dealt a cruel blow as Rex Grossman twisted to the turf early in the second quarter. He got up but went back down, unable to stand on what was later determined to be a broken ankle. He will require surgery and miss three or four months. By the way, the Bears lost the game 17-13.

The Good

Muhsin Muhammad (2-26) continues to show that he's a dependable clutch receiver who is willing to go over the middle to keep the offense on the field. Thomas Jones (11/43, Fumble, 3-15) made something out of nothing several times, cutting against the grain to pick up positive ground. Adewale Ogunleye registered sacks on consecutive plays, decisively beating former Bear Rex Tucker. Tommie Harris, Alex Brown, and Ogunleye collapsed the pocket continually. Mike Brown picked off a pass and ran it back for a big gain, but saw the play erased on a penalty by Charles Tillman. Tillman later had an interception of his own in addition to a nifty pass deflection on a third down conversion. Brian Urlacher made a good block on an interception run.

Mark Bradley (4-63) continues to impress. He has a great chemistry going with Kyle Orton. Adrian Peterson (13/69, TD) carried the offense through the middle of the game. Peterson scored a touchdown from 9 yards out and ripped off a 20-yard gain. Many of his yards were gained over Roberto Garza. Kyle Orton (7-10-93, Int) looked good again. His one interception came on a deflected pass. He held the ball too long on a few of his attempts, but overall moved the offense well. Kurt Kittner (6-15-78, Int) made some nice throws at the end of the game. He threw a perfect bomb to Bradley that was broken up at the last minute. His play degraded as it wore on. Unfortunately, he's going to be seeing more action in the next few weeks.

Bear tight ends had a much better game. Gabe Reid (2-25) and Darnell Sanders (4-34) stepped up with key receptions. Both of them not only showed good hands, but also made people miss. John Gilmore did a good job blocking with the first team. Linebacker Leon Joe showed signs of life by standing up a fullback in the hole on an isolation play. Rashied Davis had two solid kickoff returns. Linebacker LeVar Woods showed good range making tackles from sideline to sideline. Michael Haynes registered a sack and required double team blocking to prevent him from pressuring the quarterback.

The Bad

The Rams' quarterbacks continually drew the Bears' defensive line offsides. This led to numerous free first downs. Their backup quarterback and receivers picked apart the seams and holes between the zones in Ron Rivera's defense like they had been practicing against it for years. Rookie cornerback Rashied Davis allowed a touchdown to be caught in front of him and also committed defensive holding. Mike Brown missed Steven Jackson in the hole, leading to a 33-yard gain.

For the second straight week, run blocking between the tackles was spotty at best. If the Bears plan to run there the majority of the season, they're going to need to open more holes at the point of attack. Thomas Jones gained most of his yards cutting back against the grain. Second string offensive tackles Rob Droege and Marc Colombo each gave up a sack.

The Ugly

Rex Grossman (6-11-52) saw his season shortened for the third consecutive year. Each season, he has been lost to injury sooner. At this rate, he'll be hurt in next year's mini-camps. Drafting Kyle Orton was a great move, because the likelihood of his seeing action as a rookie just went way up. Not bringing a veteran was a mistake, however. The Bears will be forced to see what Orton and Chad Hutchinson (2-2-14) can do to lead the offense. Fortunately, Ron Turner's offense should allow both of them to get up to speed quickly.

A missing persons report will need to be filed for Justin Gage, who continually is being overlooked. Qasim Mitchell played left tackle at the end of the game and was terrible. He allowed constant pressure to disrupt the passing attack. He played so poorly that Droege was returned to the game. Droege then allowed a pressure that led to an intentional grounding penalty and ten-second clock run off. The Bears committed far too many (twelve) penalties. Apart from the defensive line, the offensive line also put the team in a hole with false starts by Fred Miller, Terrence Metcalf, and Roberto Garza.

Next Up

The Bears will need to quickly regroup and prepare for a season without Rex Grossman. They have roughly one month until the regular season opener. They'll take the next steps toward that on Saturday the 20th at Indianapolis.

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