For the second straight season, the Bears visited the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and like good guests brought them a gift. The gift was a victory placed in a fancy box and tied up with pretty bows. Also for the second straight season, it was their starting Quarterback that was the main culprit in gift-wrapping a victory for the hosting Bucs. After re-watching the game there is no denying that Mike Glennon was the reason the Bears got their asses handed to them (score wise anyway) for the second consecutive season. All-22 not even required although I did review it on the all-22 to grade the entire team.
First thing I observed is the rest of the team didn’t play that badly. For some reason, the offensive line took some abuse by fans and some media alike as if Glennon was under an all-out assault but I did not see that. Sure, there was a glitch or two here and there but there are no such things as shut down offensive lines. The other guys pay their players too and they are big, mean and angry men looking for their next paychecks just like the Bears players. There will be plays made against them. All in all, I saw a reasonable amount of protection. Especially considering the attrition they suffered due to a couple injuries along that unit. The backups accounted for themselves very well in the second half as did the secondary blockers I.E. Backs and Tight Ends.
Another unit that took a lot of abuse is the Wide Receiving corp. A unit I also did not see play as badly as they were portrayed. They did have 6 drops as a team and I believe 5 of them were charged to actual Wide receivers which is bad, but most of those happened in the second half when the game was essentially gone and you can see they were trying to make plays quickly to conserve time and make big plays and simply took their eyes off the ball. Something that can be remedied by having an accurate Quarterback who can throw it to them on the run and not put their team in such an early insurmountable deficit. The irony is 26 points with an entire second half to play is not insurmountable unless you have a deficiency in Quarterback play as the Bears indeed did with theirs.
The defense played well too. They did have some penalties that extended drives for the Bucs however, and Danny Trevathan was particularly to blame as he had two holding calls on 3rd down that extended drives that led to points. The front 7 did not put overwhelming pressure on Jameis Winston but did have a fair amount and shut down the Bucs running game. They were put in bad positions by Glennon’s turnover and Tarik Cohen’s inexcusable boneheaded decision to field a punt inside the Bears 15 with the entire Bucs special teams coverage unit surrounding the bouncing football which of course turned into a fumble recovery for them and led to 7 points.
I suppose the Bears and their fans can take some solace in the fact that the Bucs did not dominate the Bears by overwhelming them with physicality and talent far above theirs. The Bucs deserve credit for taking advantage of it I suppose but in no way should feel like they won that game as much as their opponent lost that game. Time to grade this and put this ugly game to bed.
What more can be said of this one that hasn’t already been said. Glennon was bad. Most will point to the turnovers as proof that Glennon is a bad QB. In my opinion that isn’t proof of anything when evaluating a Quarterback. It’s not the result itself that comes into play when diagnosing whether a player has the potential to be bad, decent role player type, Good core player, or Great. A blue. Think everyone knew Glennon wasn’t ever going to be a blue (Scout’s Color grade for someone with the potential to be or is already special, All-Pro, Elite). I didn’t even consider him as a Red (scouting color grade for just below Blue, someone you have to gameplan for and one of the best at his position). However, I was hoping he would be a Purple (Solid player who you can win with not because of). At this point he is looking like a Yellow (Not even backup quality player) with his ceiling being an Orange (backup quality only and a player you eventually look to upgrade unless they excel on special teams to a high level).
On this play Glennon actually has a positive result happen but You can see how he is not anything more than an Orange/backup just as much as on any of his three turnovers. Turnovers are bad and you don’t want them but everyone makes a mistake or even has a bad game. As a scout or anyone whose job it is to evaluate talent, you’re looking for something that is almost uncorrectable.
On this play, it’s his inability to be patient and wait for the play to develop and look for an even better option. On this still you can see Joshua Bellamy breaking open and if you run the film he actually continues to gain separation from his man and there is no help over the top, but Glennon has already chosen to take the shorter easier throw before he’s even had a chance to decide whether to throw it to Bellamy or not. And on this play, Cohen had tight coverage on him too, but clearly, Glennon isn’t comfortable staying in the pocket too long and throwing downfield. That is an issue. When a defense doesn’t have to worry about someone going over the top on you, you have less hesitation crowding the Line of scrimmage and flooding the sort area of the field with extra pass defenders. Bad for the run and the short passing game.
On the first Interception, the Bears have a 3 Tight end set with one Wide Receiver in Deonte Thompson. Glennon, as is his M.O., is laser-focused on his primary option and doesn’t even consider any other option. This in spite of a late shift by the linebackers towards the right hash where the route for Dion Sims is going to go. Not to mention that’s where the most congestion is with defenders. As you see from the still he had two other options that were open in Thompson who ran a quick hitch and Adam Shaheen who ran a quick out and was wide open and probably had the most room to operate after the catch.
On the Fumble Glennon again kind of panics in the pocket as he’s thinking what to do instead of instinctually moving in the pocket and avoiding pressure and he just awkwardly fumbles the ball right into the accepting arms of a Bucs defender. The shame of it is that he had Kendall Wright breaking open on a short drag route that looked like it could’ve gone for a first down.
Here you see the Linebacker move on the left hip of the defensive tackle ready to blitz the A gap right in front of Glennon.
Post snap you see Jordan Howard step up and make an excellent block on the blitzing LB shoving him to the right of Glennon and giving him a clear path to either take off with it or preferably step up and hit the streaking Wright on the shallow crossing route.
Same thing happens with the pick 6. He has open options but is stuck eyeballing his primary read. Meanwhile, there is Wright once again wide open. It was not only a bad read and the wrong target but just a bad throw. Fox threw Bellamy under the bus for a bad route, but even a bad route there should result in an incompletion at worst, but the throw is so woefully short the cornerback simply pulls in the floater in the flat stepping in front of the out route.
Here Zack Miller and Wright run an excellent combo route and Wright gets wide open but Glennon doesn’t even look their way instead staring down the out route to Bellamy.
Here you even see Howard come open. Any of these throws may not have resulted in a first down, but it sure beats a pick 6.
The group had 5 dropped passes all in the second half when the game was already way out of hand. Everyone aside from Bellamy’s belly catch attempt looked like concentration drops. To me, it seems as though it was a combination of trying to do too much to get back in the game and worrying about getting killed by Glennon delivering the ball too late to them. We all saw the way White was injured by Glennon’s slow on the draw processing. Let’s not forget that lethargic release. Still, they were drops and that needs to be cleaned up Regardless of circumstance you have to make sure you secure the pass number one then you make your move downfield. The unit I feel played better than most believe it did. Some even pinning Glennon’s performance being partially responsible by the Wide Receivers inability to shake their defenders. I did not see that on my film review. That’s not to say they were great. They weren’t. No one unit is in a 22 point loss, but they were not the reason for Glennon’s performance nor were they complete dog shit either.
Here you see the results of not being able to threaten the defense downfield. The Bucs have 9 in the box. Now you see the plight of the Bears running game and the daunting task they have before them.
The Bears actually split out Howard wide to spread the Bucs defense out.
In the next still, you see yet another poor decision by Glennon. He throws the ball to Bellamy on a short dig route even though there’s a defender right there and breaking on the ball. The only thing stopping this from being a pick is Bellamy’s body gets in the way. The pass should have gone to Wright who beat his man on the one on one with the slant route. If he gets hit there in stride that’s a pretty big play as all you see is green in front of him.
As I showed in the still above in the Wide Receiver section of the piece, it’s pretty clear that the Bears will have to beat 8-9 man fronts on a regular basis if they want to run the ball while Glennon continues to Quarterback the team. Here you see a 7 man front and the Bears take advantage as the Bucs are clearly expecting a pass down by 26 points with the two-deep look to prevent a big hitter yet they’re still only 10 yards away and looking like they’re reading themselves to break in for a short pass or a run. Cohen gets the toss left and gets a 7 yard gain out of it. One of the Bears best running plays in this game.
Another group that I had a hard time evaluating because of the poor performance by Glennon. There was a drop by Miller that would’ve have been a tough catch as the pass was high but other than that they caught whatever was catchable and thrown to them. The blocking maybe was less effective than I would have liked so that can improve as well.
Here’s the dropped pass I mentioned earlier on the high pass. Here you see Miller run a deep dig and gets separation. As you see in the second still the ball should have been out already. Instead, Glennon inexplicably waits for some reason and delivers the ball when Miller crosses into the right flat. He was still open and would have hauled it in on the run if the pass was better. Thrown earlier he would have had more room to run whereas when it was thrown the defender had caught up to him as did the safeties over the top and would have been a shorter gain than if delivered earlier.
As I mentioned in my opening the offensive line received some undeserved criticism. were they flawless? no, of course not, but certainly good enough to execute the game plan. Had the score been relatively close one could assume the Bears would have and a better opportunity to run the ball effectively. That’s not even to mention the Bears had an entirely new interior line by the end of the game. Cody Whitehair played 3 different positions in this game.
On this play, you see the nice wall formed for a clean pocket. As the play develops you still see a clean pocket. At the end of the play, you see a nice chip by Cohen and release into the seam as a receiver. You also see a couple of pancake blocks. One by Leno and another by Grasu and Whitehair on a combo block and Glennon actually delivers one beyond ten yards to Bellamy. Cohen was also open underneath for the check down and may have busted one, but it was good to see the ball thrown to the deeper route for a change.
I know this has turned into a bash fest for Glennon but it is without agenda. It’s just the way it is. A lot of people want to make bold statements about the deficiencies at Wide Receiver and the ineffective play of Howard and the Offensive Line, but the truth of the matter is we can’t make a definitive evaluation of this team with the way Glennon has played. Hard to run and pass short passes when the defense is loaded up for it knowing Glennon will not go downfield. There is also no fear of breaking contain by the edge rushers knowing they have a statue in the pocket. They focus on the launch point fearing nothing will change. That’s a difficult task for an offensive lineman to block. The Bears need to speed up Trubisky’s development or else this is what you can expect from the Bears offense and that ain’t much.
My defense review/grades will be out tomorrow!