What grade does Bears offensive line deserve?

Posted Sep 9, 2013

Larry discusses how the Bears offensive line fared against the Bengals, the Bears' lack of a pass rush and rookie Marquess Wilson being inactive in the opener.

Wondering about a player, a past game or another issue involving the Bears? Senior writer Larry Mayer answers a variety of email questions from fans on

How would you grade the Bears offensive line in Sunday's opener against the Bengals?

From Jonathan B. on Twitter

I would give the Bears offensive line a solid 'B ' in Sunday's season-opening win over Cincinnati. The unit provided excellent pass protection for Jay Cutler, who was not sacked in the game. One of the offense's primary objectives entering the contest was to contain Bengals Pro Bowl defensive tackle Geno Atkins, and the Bears' line did just that. Atkins was virtually invisible; he did not record a tackle let alone a sack in the game. Left guard Matt Slauson and rookie right guard Kyle Long both lined up at times against Atkins, who plays the left and right tackle positions. The poise that rookie right tackle Jordan Mills displayed late in the game when he drew a 15-yard penalty against linebacker Rey Maualuga and didn't retaliate was a huge play; it gave the Bears an automatic first down and allowed them to run out the clock. The only thing keeping me from giving the Bears offensive line an 'A' was the lack of production by the ground game. Running backs Matt Forte and Michael Bush combined to rush for only 65 yards on 25 carries, a 2.6-yard average.

What happened to the Bears pass rush? Was Andy Dalton releasing the ball that quickly?

From GPK on Twitter

Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton certainly was getting rid of the ball quickly Sunday, but the Bears front four must do a better job of generating a pass rush. Their lack of pressure enabled Dalton to repeatedly find Pro Bowl receiver A.J. Green, who caught a game-high nine passes for 162 yards. Green had touchdown receptions of 2 and 45 yards and set up Cincinnati's third and final TD by drawing a pass interference penalty against cornerback Charles Tillman in the end zone.

Do you think that Marques Wilson should play next week? He heard he had a great training camp.

From Zach W. on Twitter

Marquess Wilson did perform well in training camp and the preseason, but the Bears need their fourth receiver to be a major contributor on special teams and Joe Anderson is more proficient in that aspect of the game than Wilson. So I have no problem with the Bears playing Anderson ahead of Wilson behind their top three receivers (Brandon Marshall, Alshon Jeffery and Earl Bennett).

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