I can't stand Monday Night Football, I'll be honest about that. It just doesn't seem to generate the same kind of atmosphere, and as an international fan, the start time is ridiculously late. However I especially hate Monday Night Football when the Jets come out of the locker room and shoot themselves in the foot. A couple of mistakes here and there and it costs you the game. Geno is improving and I agree with Rex, he's not the same QB as he was last year, however he is still extremely raw and the pick-6 showed his decision making is still at rookie level, despite him being in year two.
I really think Chris Ivory had a decent game and I'm starting to believe that by giving 50/50 reps to Johnson, we're hurting this football team. Surprisingly Ivory showed some excellent hands out of the backfield and his tough running style gains that extra yard and with this team, you need that. I also thought that Jace Amaro looked better, especially running the seam routes. We need to get him involved even more, but he causes match-up problems for several players. Calvin Pryor bounced back with better timing on his arrival to plays, and a couple of times he affected the concentration of the receivers just by being there and threatening.
On the other end of the spectrum you have guys like Jalen Saunders, who offers us nothing in the passing game and is now fumbling punts, rookie or not, you should be able to catch a football. Brian Winters is a terrible guard, all three weeks he has blown assignments and not offered anything in the rush game, in fact, he gets pushed back several times. It's time to try someone else, because he just isn't doing the job and players need to be accountable for poor performance. I'd start to poke at Allen and Walls, but I just can't blame them for getting beat, especially Allen. We have a converted safety with little game experience at the position and a 2011 UDFA starting at corner, this goes straight to Idzik and his roster management.
Saying that, lets jump in to the stars:
Third Star: Sheldon Richardson, 2 tackles, 1 sack
This is where statistics don't tell the story. When I looked at the box score after watching the game, I couldn't believe that Sheldon only had two tackles. He came in with a sack and got pressure a lot, he was constantly causing the offensive line problems and he was forcing them to account for him on every single snap. His motor is superb, his hands placement is that of a veteran and if he keeps on the upward spiral he is going to be one of the elite defensive lineman in this league, I guarantee it. He gets his hands up, as you saw from the pass deflection, he forced Cutler to step into a sack and at one point it looked as though he was camping in the Bears backfield.
Second Star: Jeremy Kerley, 7 receptions, 81 yards and 1 TD
Kerley has to be one of my favourite players on this team, he is just one tough little SOB. He constantly goes over the middle, he took a shot on the touchdown and did well to secure the ball. He constantly finds space underneath and had Geno been a little more accurate, he could have had a few other catches, not to mention a blatant PI call that wasn't right at the end. With Decker severely limited, he needed to step up and he did just that. Unfortunately he was the only one that did, which allowed the Bears to shade coverage to him. Still his routes were crisp, his hands were good, he has enough speed and he catches nearly everything thrown his way.
First Star: Muhammad Wilkerson, 5 tackles, 1.5 sacks
Mo is just a beast, but you already know that. I hope the knee injury he sustained is not serious, but he was fantastic throughout. Constantly causing problems, forcing the Bears to chip him and double him at times. He got to Cutler for two sacks, getting a little help with the last one. However he also camped in the backfield of the Bears, but his run defense was also up there with the elite. I thought he was superb and he's finally starting to get the recognition he deserves, performances like that on Monday Night Football won't hurt.
So that means we are three weeks into this and there has been 9 different players from a possible 9. Is that strength in depth or because we have no consistent outstanding performers? I'll let you decide that one.
First Star = 10 points
Second Star = 5 points
Third Star = 2 points