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Grading the Bears
Daily Herald Staff Report

Danieal Manning

 

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Published: 11/1/2009 9:01 PM

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GAME BALL

Danieal Manning

In addition to leading the Bears with 7 tackles, safety Danieal Manning forced 2 of Cleveland's 5 turnovers to set up 10 points. Manning's diving first-quarter interception (and 35-yard return) led to a Robbie Gould chip-shot field goal. In the third quarter, Manning forced and recovered tight end Steve Heiden's fumble at the Browns' 49 to set up Matt Forte's second TD.

QB (3 balls)

After missing his target consistently early (he was 2-for-8 after one quarter), Jay Cutler picked up the pace in the face of constant harassment from Cleveland's defense. His best stretch came in the second quarter immediately after taking a hit to the chin that bloodied his tongue. Cutler hit 4 of 4 for 46 yards to set up Matt Forte's 1-yard TD plunge.

RB (3 balls)

Forte enjoyed his second-best day of the season as he powered for 90 yards and 2 TDs in 26 carries. His best run? The 10-yard score in the third quarter when he started left and bounced right all the way into the corner of the end zone. Garrett Wolfe added a career-high 53 yards in 5 carries - almost all on the final drive.

WR (2 balls)

The Bears didn't get a ton of separation from the secondary, particularly early when Cutler had to throw away a few passes. Devin Hester, who caught 7 passes for 81 yards, turned a screen pass into a 33-yard gain. Johnny Knox produced a nice 31-yard catch on a fly down the right sideline.

OL (2 balls)

Considering the Bears piled up 395 total yards, the line (now featuring Josh Beekman at LG) might warrant more credit. But anytime your QB takes as many shots as Cutler did, there's no choice but to be taken down a notch. In addition to taking the season-high 4 sacks, Cutler was turfed twice by 350-pound Shaun Rogers and took a good hit from LB Eric Barton.

DL (3 balls)

Alex Brown earned the Bears' only sack (and TFL, for that matter) when Hunter Hillenmeyer's unencumbered blitz turned QB Derek Anderson right into Brown. Tommie Harris posted 2 solo tackles in his return to the lineup. Mark Anderson forced Charles Tillman's "pick-six" with a fierce blind-side pass rush in the end zone.

LB (4 balls)

The heart of a defense that limited Cleveland to 61 first-half yards and didn't allow the visitors to cross midfield until the third quarter. Nick Roach, moved back to the strong side, forcing 2 fumbles to go with 6 tackles. Hillenmeyer, moved back to the middle, recorded 6 tackles and a quarterback hurry.

Secondary (4.5 balls)

Danieal Manning forced 2 turnovers. Charles Tillman returned an interception for a score - and his sweet spin move near the 10-yard line earned the unit the extra half-ball. Al Afalava broke up 2 passes, including one on a blitz. And, hey, Nathan Vasher spent some time at safety.

Special teams (3 balls)

The stats say Hester returned 4 punts for a total of 47 yards, but he had a 69-yard score called back on a Rashied Davis hold. Hester also will catch some, uh, guff for getting tripped up by the punter on his initial 32-yard return. Brad Maynard shanked a punt to set up Cleveland's lone score, though it should be noted Wolfe's penalty on Maynard's first punt cost the Bears 38 yards. Robbie Gould made his 3 field goals and his 3 extra points, as per usual.

Coaching (3 balls)

We're going to go out on a limb and suggest that the multiple third-down booings of the offense served as a way for the 59,493 to register their displeasure with OC Ron Turner. Lovie Smith won one challenge and lost another, while his defensive calls kept the pressure on Cleveland' inept passing game.