Morning Box Score: Bears Sacked By Giants
By Benjy Lipsman in News on Oct 4, 2010 3:00PM
We've been saying all along that the Bears' weakest link was their offensive line. We saw just how bad that line could be last night and why it's such a serious issue for this Bears team. Jay Cutler suffered nine (NINE!) sacks in the first half of the game before departing at halftime due to a concussion. Backup Todd Collins was also knocked out of the game, requiring the Bears to send in Caleb Hanie in the fourth quarter. That the Bears lost 17-3 and not by a larger margin is somewhat of a miracle, because they played just about the ugliest game we've ever seen.
In the first half, Cutler dropped back 21 times, suffering nine sacks, fumbling the ball and throwing an interception. Of his passes thrown, he did connect on 8 of 11 but for just 42 yards. In the second half, Todd Collins fared even worse by completing just 4 of 11 passes for 36 yards. While he wasn't sacked, he took quite a shot that knocked him out of the game. Thrust into action late in the game, Caleb Hanie suffered the tenth sack of a Bears QB. The Bears running game again was non-existent, with Matt Forte and Chester Taylor combining for 48 yards on 15 carries. The nine first half sacks were an NFL record, while the 10 total sacks were the most the Bears had ever suffered in a single game. Guess the Giants didn't miss sack leader Mathias Kiwanuka too much.
And yet the defense kept the Bears in the game. As rough as the first half looked, they went into the locker room only trailing by a 3-0 margin. The Bears remained within a single score of tying the game until the waning minutes. Julius Pepper showed how dominant he is on the field -- no matter that he didn't record a single sack. Only when the offense continued to prevent the defense from catching their collective breath did they ultimately let the game slip away. But even late, with plays like Zack Bowman's strip inside the five yard line to prevent a touchdown, the Bears defense tried to give their offense every opportunity to redeem themselves and pull out the game to no avail.
As the first quarter of the season draws to a close, we're still left wondering just how good or bad this Bears team really is. They finished the first four games with a 3-1 record, beating tough Dallas and Green Bay teams. But they looked god awful against the Lions in a come from behind win and looked even worse last night.
The Bears now lick their wounds before heading to Carolina to play the winless Panthers next Sunday. Who'll be playing quarterback? It's too soon to tell. Given the league's new precautions with concussions, we're not counting on Cutler. Todd Collins says he's ready to go. Personally, we'd rather see Hanie get a shot. Not that it'll really matter much with that line for protection.