RedEye

Bears' front four failures painfully obvious

It shouldn’t be that hard to beat a team that came in 0-5, but then, there are a lot of shouldn’ts with the Bears.

And the most painful and obvious is the defensive line.

This is getting ridiculous with the front four. Or what they call a front four. It shouldn’t be this impotent.

I know the defensive line has been pounded with injuries, but the Giants came in with an awful offensive line. This Bears defensive line should’ve shown something.

Waiting. Wait. Ing.

Despite holding on for a 27-21 victory, the Bears managed little pressure on Eli Manning and tackled poorly, even for them. They were gashed for big pass plays and stung for chunks on the ground. Any time the Bears want to use their arms to tackle, fine by me.

Part of it was the NFL’s sorry, greedy decision to schedule Thursday night games. They produce ugly football because players’ bodies can’t recover in half of a week. But still, tackling seems pretty basic.

Same goes for a pass rush. That used to be a big part of what used to be the Bears’ best unit. Man, has that ever changed.

Julius Peppers, a well-paid defensive end, should've made plays all over the field. Shea McClellin, a first-round draft choice, gets velcroed to blocks. Corey Wootton might be the best move inside, but can't the other guys either stop the run or get penetration? Pick one. Please.

The Bears managed three interceptions at Soldier Field on Thursday night, but they seemed to come from bad decisions by Manning or his receiver. The Bears were lucky Manning threw some bad picks because that’s what he does this season.

The Giants went 80 yards twice in the first half because the Bears' front four that had been inept all season did nothing to change that in the first half. Despite interceptions by both cornerbacks on the first two series even with Charles Tillman inactive, Manning showed he was unafraid to pass against the Bears because he was getting the time to do it.

Right down to the end, Manning was throwing without much fear. The Bears were lucky he finally threw without much accuracy and Tim Jennings picked off his second Manning pass deep in Bears territory. How does it come down to that against this Giants team?

The Giants' offense came in with the worst third-down conversion rate at barely more than 26 percent. Against the Bears, the Giants hit on 7 of 11, good for 64 percent.

The Giants rang up 355 yards, 106 rushing by Brandon Jacobs, who was on his couch less than a month ago. This, mind you, by a team that was drilled 38-0 by Carolina at home.

One of the problems with the defensive line’s inability to make plays is that it forces the Bears to blitz, and when it gets picked up, the quarterback has time to find an open man and hit a big play. Manning did it with a bad team. The Bears haven’t faced Aaron Rodgers yet.

The Bears' defense will keep teams in games the way it did against the Giants unless the offense can score 35 points, and that might not be enough.

Good thing the Giants' defense played to form. New York managed little pressure on Jay Cutler, who directed scoring drives of 86 and 80 yards in the first half, both ending with Brandon Marshall touchdown catches. There shouldn’t be much complaining about targets and contract drives after this one.

But the complaining -- and fear -- about the front four’s lack of impact will continue.

Copyright © 2015, RedEye
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