Bears' offensive line passes big test

Grade: 3

Matt Forte wasn't given a lot of room to cut and slide, and he didn't create much room for himself either.

Given the conditions and the way the Texans were defending the Bears, it would have been nice to see more handoffs to Michael Bush and more passes to Forte. Combined, Forte and Bush had 17 fewer touches than Texans running backs Arian Foster and Justin Forsett.

Bush fumbled and Forte dropped a pass over the deep middle.

Evan Rodriguez was an asset as a run blocker.


Grade: 2

Jay Cutler's best throw, and one of his only good throws, was an incompletion that should have been a game-changing 33-yard touchdown in the second quarter. Brandon Marshall dropped it.

Cutler was more effective with his feet than his arm.

Aside from two pretty passes to Marshall, Jason Campbell failed to spark the offense. On the final drive, when the Bears had nothing to lose, Campbell kept checking down. The situation justified risk taking, and it would have been better to go down with an interception than a series of short passes.

Wide receivers

Grade: 5

Against Johnathan Joseph, one of the NFL's best cornerbacks, Marshall made a number of impressive plays as usual. His drop loomed larger than any of them, however.

Devin Hester and Earl Bennett had virtually no impact on the offense.

Defensive line

Grade: 7

There was just one sack, but Julius Peppers and Henry Melton both had very fine performances. They didn't get as much help from their linemates as they have in most other games, however.

Peppers often was lined up against the left tackle some believe is the best pass protector in the NFL in Duane Brown, and Peppers more than held his own. His sack came from inside, however, after he blasted guard Wade Smith to the ground with a powerful club move and then closed on Matt Schaub.

On the same play, Melton arrived at Schaub a half-second later after knifing through a double team.

The Texans had no answers for Melton's quickness. He was especially disruptive in the run game, and he is playing like he is well on his way to the Pro Bowl.