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Strategy And Personnel

The Sports Xchange


--QB Caleb Hanie threw three interceptions in the first half, but also had two TD passes in his first NFL start, completing 18 of 36 passes.

--TE Kellen Davis caught two passes Sunday for 25 yards, including a nine-yard TD, his team-best fourth of the season, even though he has just 12 catches all year.

--RB Matt Forte had just 12 carries, his lowest workload in two months, but he picked up 59 yards, averaging 4.9 yards per carry. He also had six catches for 25 yards.

--CB Corey Graham had his third interception is as many games, filling in as the nickel back for injured D.J. Moore.

--RB Marion Barber had his most productive game as a Bear, getting 63 yards on 10 carries.


D-plus - QB Caleb Hanie's first NFL start began poorly with three first-half interceptions, but he got better as the game went on, throwing two TD passes and showing the ability to make plays downfield with an 81-yard hookup to Johnny Knox, who also caught a 29-yard TD toss. Knox had a couple drops, but he wound up with a career-best 145 receiving yards on four catches. Pass protection was a little spotty; Hanie was sacked four times, but that also seemed to improve later in the game.

B - QB Caleb Hanie helped with 50 yards on five scrambles, but backup Marion Barber led the Bears with 63 yards on 10 carries and Matt Forte added 59 yards on 12 attempts. The Bears had their third-highest rushing total of the season, 172 yards, so it seems odd that they ran just 27 times, their fewest attempts in the last six weeks. Forte didn't find much running room early, but he did break a 33-yard run.

B - The pass rush got to Carson Palmer four times, matching its total of the previous four weeks combined, but the Raiders' quarterback still threw for 301 yards. Julius Peppers had two sacks, giving him eight for the season and six in his last six games. A pair of 47-yard receptions, one on a screen pass, marred an otherwise solid effort, highlighted by fill-in nickel back Corey Graham's third interception is as many games.

B-plus - Michael Bush was kept under wraps, managing just 69 yards on 24 carries. NT Matt Toeaina was stout up front, and Peppers showed up more in the run game than he had in recent weeks. LBs Lance Briggs and Brian Urlacher were both active in run support.

B - Johnny Knox had four kickoff returns for 133 yards, including a 56-yarder that gave the Bears a chance to take a halftime lead, but they turned the ball over. PK Robbie Gould hit from 50 and 53 yards, the first time he's had a pair of 50-something field goals in the same game. P Adam Podlesh was very good again (44.8-yard net), but not quite as good as Shane Lechler, 49.2-yard net average, who took Devin Hester out of the game.

C - Especially with a quarterback starting his first game, the Bears should have run the ball more, and the across-the-field screen pass seems ill-advised in retrospect, since it resulted in an interception in the red zone and led to a Raiders field goal.

Copyright (C) 2011 The Sports Xchange. All Rights Reserved.


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