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:
– 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.
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.
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)