Bears Grades: Linebackers fail in coverage and finishing tackles


The pregame surprise was Christian Jones, a 12-game starter at inside linebacker, being put on the inactive list on John Timu, just elevated from the practice squad this week, inserted in the starting lineup and charged with playing a significant part in the group dealing with Adrian Peterson.

Timu led the Bears with an initial count of nine tackles, one for loss, although he was a contributor on occasional missed tackles, mistakes that were the lowlight of the linebacker play. Linebackers were consistently behind in coverage, late in closing for tackles and failed too often to finish those tackles.

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“I can’t really tell you [why the tackling was so bad],” said Timu. “Without the film there is not much really to say, just bad angles, lack of communication and not finishing.”

Jonathan Anderson was nowhere near tight end Kyle Rudolph on a third-and-long in the first quarter, allowing the Vikings to sustain a first possession that had started inside the Minnesota 10. Anderson was able to force an incompletion with a second-quarter blitz for a hit on Teddy Bridgewater.

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Shea McClellin was credited with eight tackles, one for loss, but missed a tackle of tight end Rudolph resulting in a nine-yard gain, and a third-and-short that the Vikings converted on a penalty. He subsequently slid off a tackle try of Jerick McKinnon, allowing the running back to continue on and finish a 15-yard touchdown completion late in the second quarter after the defense had managed to stanch the bleeding from the first two Minnesota possessions.

“We didn’t start fast, we didn’t finish and we had too many mental errors,” McClellin summarized.

Moon's Grade: F

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