Grading the Chicago Bears' victory over the St. Louis Rams.
Rushing offense: A-
Running for 201 yards is great. Averaging 6.3 yards per carry is even better. The Bears ran for 11 of their 18 first downs, led by Matt Forte’s career-high 132 yards behind a line that opened gaping holes. It would rate as an A+ except the Rams provided little opposition. Forte’s first lost fumble of the year was the lone drawback.
Pass offense: D
The best thing Kyle Orton (18 of 29 for 139 yards) did was stretch his string of passes without an interception to a team-record 185 passes (Erik Kramer had 174 in 1995). But averaging 4.8 yards per pass against the NFL’s No. 24 pass defense isn’t good. Orton’s best moment was a Favrian shovel pass to avoid a sack and pick up a first down.
Run defense: A+
Even if it’s the Rams and even if Steven Jackson is out with an injury, holding a team to 14 yards rushing on 19 carries is brilliant. And it was even better until the end; St. Louis had zero yards rushing on 13 carries after three quarters.
Pass defense: A
The Rams passed for 236 yards, but netted only 193 after figuring in five Chicago sacks. The Bears also had a season-high four interceptions against Trent Green, who replaced Marc Bulger after Bulger hit his head on the turf on a sack that ended the Rams’ first drive.
Special teams: C
Danieal Manning made good as Devin Hester’s replacement by returning the opening kickoff 50 yards to the Rams’ 49 to set up Chicago’s first touchdown drive. Robbie Gould made both his field goal attempts. Brad Maynard averaged 44.2 yards, 37.8 net, on five punts, but St. Louis returned one kickoff 75 yards and a punt that should have been to the 1 turned into a touchdown when a Chicago defender came out of the end zone to down it.
Creative play calling, including a reverse to Devin Hester on the game’s first play for 20 yards and a Hester run for 12 yards out of the Wildcat formation, not only kept Hester happy but helped Chicago score its first two touchdowns. The only drawback: Why waste such plays on the lowly Rams?