Grading the Game: Redskins

The Bears did not receive high marks for their performance against Washington.

PASSING OFFENSE: D -- As expected, QB Kyle Orton made some rookie mistakes, like an end zone interception, but also had some strong throws, like a 22-yard completion to WR Mark Bradley as he was being hit on a blitz. Other than Muhsin Muhammad (6 catches, 59 yards) and TE Desmond Clark (3 catches, 26 yards) no one else was very involved in the air attack.

RUSHING OFFENSE: D-minus -- Starter Thomas Jones averaged just 2.1 yards on 15 carries, and rookie Cedric Benson (10 yards on 3 carries) didn't look very special in his first live action of the summer. The overpaid offensive line was a huge disappointment, failing to open holes consistently and false starting on three straight plays to undermine a fourth-quarter drive that was on the fringe of field-goal range.

PASS DEFENSE: B-minus -- CB Nate Vasher had an interception and should have had a second, but FS Mike Green's pass interference call wiped it out. Three different players had sacks, and the Redskins had only 159 net passing yards.

RUSH DEFENSE: D -- Job One was stopping Clinton Portis, and for the third straight year, the Bears failed, allowing him 121 yards on 21 carries, including a 41-yard run from just outside his own end zone that got the Redskins out of trouble - and killed a perfect opportunity for the Bears defense to give the offense great field position.

SPECIAL TEAMS: B -- P Brad Maynard (41.0-yard net, three kicks inside the 20) picked up where he left off last season, when he played at a Pro Bowl level. Coverage units played very well, but the return game was substandard.

COACHING: D -- With rookie quarterback Kyle Orton making his first start, the obvious tactic was to run the ball and take some pressure off him. So, what did the Bears do? They ran just 18 times all day and threw 28 passes. Late in the third quarter, trailing 9-7, the Bears had first-and-10 at the Redskins' 22-yard line. Instead of running three times and settling for the go-ahead field goal, Orton was allowed to force a pass into coverage that was intercepted in the end zone.


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