1. Jay Cutler, QB: Bad protection, inconsistent receivers. So what? Cutler played well despite the obvious challenges he’ll face on a weekly basis, and that’s what we should expect from a quarterback that the team gave up two first-round picks to acquire. We need to see more of that. Despite constant pressure, Cutler played aggressively, looking downfield to make plays most of the time. For the most part, Cutler threw the ball accurately and played a turnover-free game, too.
2. Matt Forte, RB: Forte remains the face of consistency on offense, and followed up a career day against the Carolina Panthers with a 116-yard effort in Monday night’s loss to the Detroit Lions. General manager Jerry Angelo said before the game that there had been no progress in contract talks with the running back. That’s unfortunate because Forte’s value continues to climb by virtue of the fact he accounted for more than half the team’s offense through the first four games, and is by far the club’s most dependable option.
3. Robbie Gould, K: First off, we respect kickers. But it’s quite an indictment on the team when its kicker continues to be seemingly a weekly mainstay in this section. Gould nailed two attempts from more than 40 yards out against the Lions and prevented the opponent from returning any kickoffs by booming four shots into the end zone for touchbacks. Gould hasn’t missed a field goal attempt all season (10 of 10).
1. Frank Omiyale, RT: Offensive line coach Mike Tice didn’t specifically point the remarks toward Omiyale, but everyone knew who the coach was talking about when he said certain people had to buck up and earn their paychecks against the Lions. Well, Omiyale failed in that department, forcing the team to pull him in the second half. With starter Gabe Carimi out, the right tackle spot will continue to be a major cause for concern. But it’s likely the Bears won’t call Omiyale’s number again anytime soon.
2. Kellen Davis, TE: Give the tight end credit for catching each of the three passes thrown his way. But in Mike Martz’s offense, tight ends are more blockers than receiving threats. And it’s impossible to be a credible blocker when you can’t participate in a play because you’re constantly called for false-start penalties. Davis was flagged for two false starts in the first quarter Monday night.
3. Brandon Meriweather, S: Meriweather is definitely a hard-hitting safety. But for the second consecutive game, the veteran has drawn scrutiny because of a questionable hit that might also hit him in the pocket book by way of a fine. Meriweather’s biggest problem thus far has come in coverage. A two-time Pro Bowler, Meriweather was acquired to shore up problems with the pass defense. But he’s been more a liability than savior at this point. He still needs time to adjust to the new scheme. But time is definitely running out.