The Bears had an embarrassing loss to the Packers on Thursday Night Football last week, losing 23-10 in a huge game to a division rival. Jay Cutler was under pressure all night, pressured on 21 of 35 drop backs, taking 7 sacks and tossing 4 picks. Cutler was caught on camera screaming at and bumping into left tackle J’Marcus Webb. He has since apologized for the bump and the bump only, which is right.
Anyone overreacting to Cutler’s blow up doesn’t understand the behind the scenes of NFL football. That type of thing happens all the time (no I’ve never played, yes you can still understand the behind the scenes without having played). It’s a passionate sport played by passionate players and any player worth his salt won’t take it personally. It’s only when it’s caught on camera that people overreact. And you can’t knock Cutler for apparently not giving a shit that he was hurt and couldn’t play in the NFC Championship game in 2010 and then knock him for being passionate and competitive on the sideline.
However, the on the field issues still remain coming out of that game. The Bears have had one of the worst offensive lines in the league over the last 3 years and firing Mike Martz, their former offensive coordinator, whose scheme highlighted their offensive line’s deficiencies with many 5 and 7 step drops, didn’t help. The Bears also lost Matt Forte with an injury in that game and he will miss at least a week, though they’re saying it’s not a high ankle sprain.
In an attempt to fix the problems they’re having up front, the Bears have made a change on the offensive line, though it doesn’t involve left tackle J’Marcus Webb. The Bears have benched left guard Chris Spencer and replaced him with Chilo Rachel. Spencer has surrendered 1 sack, 1 quarterback hit, and 4 quarterback pressures in 2 games, while being penalized once, so he’s obviously part of the problem. Rachal should be an upgrade. Before an injury plagued 2011 season, Rachal was ProFootballFocus’ 9th rated guard in 2010 in San Francisco. Still just 26, the former 2nd round pick is back in shape and healthy again and should help on their offensive line. It’s tough to imagine him solving all of their problems though.
This week, the Bears take on the Rams. There’s some value with them at just -7.5. They were -10.5 last week and I think there’s been too much of an overreaction to that one game, especially since St. Louis is a publicly favored underdog right now. Jay Cutler takes a shit like that once or twice a year and it never really means anything. Plus, they were totally overmatched as underdogs on Thursday Night Football (teams in that situation are 24-46 ATS). Cutler should bounce back (though I can’t say the same for this offensive line) and Michael Bush was signed for this purpose so he should be able to carry the load in Forte’s absence. However, the Rams are still an underrated team who has played much better this year than last year. This is a tough call this week.