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 ChicagoBears.com.
I know that Jay Cutler has had some bad games since he joined the Bears and was wondering if you could tell me how well he played the following week. Like everyone else in Bears Nation, I'm hoping that Cutler and the Bears bounce back after their loss to the Packers.
Hoffman Estates, Illinois
Jay Cutler has generally rebounded very well from poor performances. In his first three seasons with the Bears from 2009-11, he recorded a passer rating of 55 or less in seven games and followed in his next start with ratings of 104.7, 63.2, 108.4, 97.6, 106.6, 111.3 and 99.6. That's six of seven games with a rating of at least 97.6. By the way, the Bears were 5-2 in those contests. In one of the losses, I felt he delivered one of his best performances, completing 28 of 38 passes for 249 yards with one touchdown, no interceptions and a 99.6 rating last October in a 24-13 Monday night loss at Detroit. Here's hoping he bounces back Sunday when the Bears host the Rams.
I am very concerned with the play of left tackle J'Marcus Webb and want to know why the Bears left him one-on-one with Green Bay's Clay Matthews so many times last Thursday night. Didn't Mike Tice say during the offseason that he was going to help out his players when they faced a match-up like that where the opponent had a clear advantage?
You evidently weren't the only one wondering about that. A reporter asked Mike Tice why J'Marcus Webb seemed to be singled up so much against Clay Matthews and here's what the Bears offensive coordinator said: "We had some plays where we definitely had some help there. You also have to understand if you're using a back for that help and the back's guy rushes, then there is no help. That's part of the equation. We also know from history that in the five games [Webb] has played against Green Bay he's fared pretty well. He also came off with a pretty decent performance the week before [against the Colts] where I heard people talking and texting me about, 'Does he get the game ball?' So he couldn't have been that bad the week before. It's a long season. This is a young player who didn't want to go out there and play at that level, so we'll see how he bounces back and we'll see how we all bounce back."
I was shocked that the Bears had so much trouble contending with Green Bay's cover-two defense. Doesn't the offense practice against the cover-two throughout the offseason and training camp?
Cedar Rapids, Iowa
The "two-man" defense the Packers employed to shut down Brandon Marshall differs from a typical cover-two. In the two-man you're basically doubling Marshall with a cornerback who is trailing him and a safety over the top. The cover-two is a zone defense where the defenders all are responsible for a certain area of the field; the safeties play deep, the middle linebacker drops into the seam, etc. While the Packers defense seemed to confound the Bears, coach Lovie Smith said it had more to do with Green Bay simply playing better, saying: "Let's not make too much of the two-man. It's not a new defense that's just been discovered or anything like that. That team up north beat us because they executed better in a lot of different areas, no more than that."