CHI-STL Grades: Bears’ defense stumps Rams

The top takeaways and highest-graded players from the Bears’ 37-13 win over the Rams.

| 1 year ago
(AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)

(AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)

CHI-STL Grades: Bears’ defense stumps Rams


Here are the top takeaways and highest-graded players from the Bears’ 37-13 win over the Rams:

Chicago Bears

– Jay Cutler (-1.7) had his lowest grade of the season, but was very effective on passes under 10 yards, going 19-for-20 for 258 yards and all three TDs. However, most of these were passes short of the sticks that the receivers did all of the work. Zach Miller going 87 yards for a touchdown was more about the Rams’ defense than anything Cutler did; he threw a short speed out, and Miller made one cut and the Rams defense overran the pursuit angle. Cutler was unable to complete a pass over 10 yards, as 209 yards came after the catch.

– The Bears’ secondary performed at a high level versus the Rams; CB Kyle Fuller (+3.3) came away with the highest grade on the team, as he allowed just one catch on eight targets for 1 yard and had one pass deflection. On the opposite side of him was Tracy Porter (+2.5); while Porter was only targeted three times, he too only allowed one catch for a grand total of 6 yards and had two pass deflections. Both starting safeties, Antrel Rolle (+2.3) and Adrian Amos (+0.5) also held up in coverage, only giving up three catches on six targets for 12 yards combined. The longest play the starting secondary gave up was two 6 yard pass plays.

– With Matt Forte out, neither Jeremy Langford (+1.8) nor Ka’Deem Carey (RB -0.7) did much as a runner versus the Rams; part of the problem was that the Rams’ defensive line gave the Bears’ running backs very little room to work with. Langford was able to escape on a couple of runs, however, these were few and far between. As a receiver out of the backfield, Langford was able to take a screen pass 83 yards for a touchdown.

Top Performers:

CB Kyle Fuller (+3.3)
TE Zach Miller (+3.0)
LB Willie Young (+2.8)
CB Tracy Porter (+2.7)
S Antrel Rolle (+2.3)

St. Louis Rams

– Nick Foles (-5.0) struggled against the Bears’ defense, only completing 47 percent of his passes; all of his completions were under 10 yards (there wasn’t a single completed pass over 10 yards in this whole game). When Foles tried to go over 10 yards, he was 0-for-14. With the Rams struggling to move the ball in the run game, St. Louis tried to open the Bears’ defense downfield, but neither Foles nor the receivers had any luck in getting a chunk of yardage on one play.

– Second-year pro Aaron Donald (+11.7) had another one of his monster games. Donald had the second-highest pass rushing productivity of the week for defensive tackles at 18.4, thanks to four total pressures on 19 pass rushing snaps. While Donald only had three run stops on 30 snaps, he caused the Bears’ interior offensive line issues all game long with both his ability to penetrate into the backfield as well as using his strength to stand up the lineman at the point of attack, taking away the holes for the Bears’ runners that way.

– First round pick Todd Gurley (-0.7) struggled to find any room as a runner, as the Bears’ defense committed to stopping Gurley first and forcing the Rams into long passing situations. They did so with great effect, allowing Gurley just 45 yards on 12 carries. The longest run allowed by Gurley all night was just 9 yards. The past two weeks for Gurley have been a realization that the NFL is not the SEC, and those first four starts where he gained 100+ yards each week will not continue with the NFL defenses focusing more and more on the run game.

Top Performers:

DL Aaron Donald (+11.7)
OL Garrett Reynolds (+3.7)
DL Nick Fairley (+3.4)
OL Rob Havenstein (+2.4)
CB Janoris Jenkins (+2.1)

  • Jake

    I understand that Cutler didn’t have any competitions over 10 yards but to basically give him a -2 is insane. He did exactly what was asked and the Bears played super passive with the lead in the 2nd half. Especially considering Alshon not at full strength and playing with WRs who probably don’t deserve to be in the NFL.

    • Kris G

      PFF always sways their numbers to try and tell their story – They graded Rodgers negative for his 5 TD game earlier this year just to prove a point that raw stats don’t equal grades. We get it PFF, no need to keep shoving it in our faces.

      They did the same thing with Forte and his blocking the last few years. Ever since they started criticizing his pass blocking and received flak for it, they were extremely harsh on his grades from that point forward – Once again, just to prove a point. I do agree Forte is a bit overrated as a player, but PFF went overboard with it, as they usually do.

    • Jason Williams

      seems like Jay played scared a little bit yesterday – didn’t want to give up the big turnover.

      That sucks for me personally because I had the Rams defense for fantasy and was counting on a monster week.

      • Jake

        Score and game situation dictates that though. Bears got off too a quick start offensively and Foles was horrible on the other end. Was the type of game where all he had to do was manage.

      • Tim Edell

        Thought u were such a Bears fan?!!!! You wanted Cutler to have a bad game???!! Simply pathetic!!

        • Jason Williams

          ah Tim. so good to see you again.

  • derek lundeen

    I don’t care if Jay didn’t throw a pass over ten yards because he didn’t need to. Jay is the way.

  • derek lundeen

    Fuller is also improving after a very slow start so that’s good to see.

  • GiveNoFuq

    Jay’s performance is directly tied to Alshons health.

  • Paul

    This is the sort of game where the stats lie. Both the standard ones and PFF.

    No way was Cutler’s massive QBR rating deserved. But he did exactly what was needed of him to win the game – getting the Bears into the right plays, not making mistakes (hung onto the ball on the nasty sack), making a nice run.

    Given the importance of a QB performance to his team’s success, it ought to give you pause for thought when your metric says it was his weakest game, but it was the Bears best game by far.

    Also, Langford and Carey – they were constantly having to run in obvious running situations where the Rams were going to commit everything to stopping the run. The fact that they picked up a good number of first downs even in those circumstances is a credit to their play and the offensive line.

    On the other side, the Bears secondary. They had some nice pass breakups but benefited from Foles’ inaccuracy, his receivers dropping key passes and penalties that put them in third and long – as well as Foles staring down passes and making bad reads.

    • derek lundeen

      Yeah Foles stinks in that offense.

      • etyb

        Yeah, but to be fair, any QB would stink in that offense.

    • Jason Williams

      I think even Cutler would tell you that wasn’t his best game yesterday even if the stats give it to him.

      • Paul

        Absolutely, I think he said as much in the press conference.

      • Jake

        Don’t think anyone is saying it was his best game but didn’t deserve to grade negatively.

  • Jason Williams

    I still don’t understand this game. Two missed plays and suddenly a mostly nip and tuck game between the Bears and Rams turns into a Bears blowout.

    Also, the Bears chances of drafting the QB of the future are slipping away.

    • Regan Ferguson

      Why are the bears chances of drafting a QB of the future slipping away? Did winning this game take away all their draft picks? I thought they were going to have 9 draft picks in the 2016 draft. I think it is unfair that a team loses all their future draft picks because they lost to the Rams.

      • Jason Williams

        can’t get a franchise QB if you don’t draft in the top 5.

        • JimminySnakeTits

          Brady, Rodgers, Romo, Derek Carr, Bridgewater, Brees, Wilson, and Roethelisberger were not top 5 picks. You can get a franchise guy outside of the top 5. However, if Cutler keeps playing like this, I don’t see the rush.

          • Regan Ferguson

            Exactly what I was thinking. There have been more busts at QB with a top 10 pick than successes.

      • crosseyedlemon

        The Bears have been a notoriously stingy team since the days when George Halas was squandering pennies so it’s unlikely they would draft a pricey QB so soon after having just given Cutler the keys to the vault. Hopefully they use a couple of high picks to give Vic Fangio the tools to rebuild the defense quicker.

  • Ray Buckner

    The Rams had only given up two pass completions that traveled over 20 yards the whole season coming into that game. QB’s attempting passes 20 yards or more against St. Louis had a 7.7 QB rating. Great gameplan from Gase!