Williams says confidence is still high
WR Roy Williams (Jonathan Daniel/Getty)
WR Roy Williams (Jonathan Daniel/Getty)
Special to BearReport.com
Posted Dec 6, 2011


Despite dropping a potential game-tying score against the Chiefs, Roy Williams still wants the ball. We also discuss Chicago's defensive performance, game grades and more.

--Roy Williams only had one ball thrown his way Sunday, and that wasn't until late in the fourth quarter.

Williams was in the end zone when a Caleb Hanie pass hit him in the hands for what would have been a 13-yard touchdown. But Williams bobbled it, then lost it. It wound up in the arms of Chiefs safety Jon McGraw, and the Bears never crossed midfield again in the 10-3 loss to Kansas City.

"I saw it late," Williams said. "I had it. I thought I had it. And it just came out."

Asked about Hanie's performance, Williams said: "I'm not Caleb. You've got to ask him. I'm just worried about myself. I've got to make my play. The play that he did (make), I've got to be the second part of that and make it, and then he's the hero of the day."

Although he began the season as a starter, Williams is fourth on the team with 24 catches and 335 yards. Others may have lost confidence in him, but Williams said he's fine.

"My confidence is sky high," he said. "I was waiting on the ball in the first, second and third quarter. I'm just waiting. Things like that (drop) are going to happen. You hope it doesn't happen at critical times. But I'll be ready to go next week. There's no drop in my confidence. I'm not losing it or nothing like that."

--The defense allowed a season-low 252 total yards, but it was small consolation.

"We didn't make enough plays on defense," linebacker Brian Urlacher said. "They made a couple big plays there in the second half. Obviously we wanted to (make a play) at the end of the first half, and (the first possession) in the second half. We just didn't get takeaways. If we don't get takeaways on defense, we're not going to win many games."

For the second straight game -- both losses -- the defense got just one takeaway. In the previous two games -- both wins -- the defense took the ball away nine times.

--Strong safety Major Wright did not play in the second half because of a shoulder injury. Although he and Brandon Meriweather had been sharing time at the position, the Bears went with Craig Steltz exclusively after halftime, and he finished with a game-high 10 tackles and forced a fumble.

"You have to prepare every week like you're the starter," Steltz said, "and today I had an opportunity."

Before he left, Wright pressured Chiefs quarterback Kyle Orton on his only snap of the day, a flea-flicker on the first play o the second quarter. Wright forced an incompletion and knocked Kyle Orton out of the game with a finger injury.

PLAYER NOTES

--RB Kahlil Bell, who figures to see much more time now, with Matt Forte recovering from a sprained knee, had 34 yards on just four carries, including a 26-yard run, which was the Bears' second-longest play of the day.

--WR Roy Williams was targeted just once, and he dropped a perfectly thrown pass in the end zone and bobbled it into the hands of Chiefs safety Jon McGraw, killing the Bears' best scoring opportunity of the second half.

--WR Johnny Knox had a season-high five catches for 53 yards.

--TE Kellen Davis had two catches for a career-high 40 yards. His 28-yard reception was the Bears' longest play of the day.

--WR Devin Hester finally got back involved in the offense with a modest three catches for 35 yards. In the previous four weeks he had just one catch for 12 yards.

REPORT CARD VS. CHIEFS

PASSING OFFENSE: F -- QB Caleb Hanie was a disaster, but in fairness, his teammates didn't do much to help him. Late in the fourth quarter, Roy Williams not only dropped a pass in the end zone, but he bobbled it into the arms of Chiefs safety Jon McGraw, undermining the Bears' best opportunity to tie the game. Earlier, the Bears caught the Chiefs' defense napping. Kansas City left running back Marion Barber uncovered when he lined up as a wide receiver, and the Bears scored on what appeared to be a ridiculously easy four-yard TD pass. But Barber was flagged for not lining up on the line of scrimmage, and the Bears settled for a field goal. Still, Hanie threw three interceptions and finished with a passer rating of 23.8, completing just 11 of 24 passes for 133 yards. He was also sacked seven times for 45 yards in losses behind an offensive line that took a couple steps backward after showing steady improvement in the previous month. Shortly before halftime, Hanie missed a wide-open Earl Bennett at the goal line for what would have been a 25-yard TD.

RUSHING OFFENSE: C-minus -- Matt Forte was lost midway through the first quarter with a sprained MCL in his right knee, depriving the Bears of their most consistently effective weapon on the ground and through the air. Marion Barber and Kahlil Bell are competent replacements, and Bell had a nice 26-yard run, but neither of them are Forte. Barber is still a tough, determined runner between the tackles, but the Bears inexplicably ran him wide on a couple occasions with poor results.

PASS DEFENSE: C-minus -- The failure to prevent the Hail Mary TD pass at the end of the first half was more bad luck than anything else, but the failure to dominate inexperienced Tyler Palko was strictly on a defense that should have had its way with the young quarterback. Palko was only sacked twice, and the Bears failed to intercept him, while allowing him to complete 17 of 30 passes and post an 82.2 passer rating, by far the best of his three starts.

RUSH DEFENSE: B-minus -- The Bears shut down Thomas Jones and Jackie Battle, allowing them a combined 51 yards on 27 carries, but Dexter McCluster gashed them for 61 yards on nine carries (6.8-yard average). McCluster's 32-yard run set up the Chiefs' third-quarter field goal.

SPECIAL TEAMS: C-minus -- Devin Hester had a 44-yard punt return, but his performance the rest of the game was ridiculously poor. He let four other catchable punts land and bounce backward for a total of about 30 negative yards. A fifth punt sailed over his head, rolled back about 20 yards, and then he picked it up and lost five yards on the return. He muffed another, which he recovered. P Adam Podlesh had another excellent game with a 41.6-yard net on seven boots, including three inside the 20. Robbie Gould was wide left from 41 yards, but coverage teams were solid.

COACHING: D -- This was by far the Bears' worst effort of the season, so the coaching staff has to take some of the blame for a team that was flat all day, even though it faced an inferior foe with an opportunity to solidify its standing in the race for a playoff spot. Offensive coordinator Mike Martz may not have exactly put Caleb Hanie in a position to fail, but he didn't do anything to help his inexperienced quarterback.


Bear Report: The only publication exclusively dedicated to your Chicago Bears.



Related Stories
Roy Williams reacts to Hurd news
 -by BearReport.com  Dec 15, 2011
As Good as it Gets?
 -by BearReport.com  Oct 25, 2011
Despite Injury, Roy Williams Ecstatic
 -by BearReport.com  Sep 11, 2011

MAGAZINE COVERAGE
Subscribe today and get a full year of Bear Report Magazine with an annual Total Access Pass.
Sign Up Today!

Upgrade Now!
Free Email Newsletter
Don't miss any news or features from BearReport.com. Subscribe to our newsletter to have our newest articles emailed to you on a daily or weekly basis.
Click here for a list of all Team Newsletters.

Add Players to My HotList
Get free email alerts with news about your favorite players. Click name to add to My HotList.
WR Roy Williams (profile)
[View My HotList]
Add Topics to My HotList
Get free email alerts with news about your favorite topics. Click link to add to My HotList.
Football > Chicago
Football > Permian HS > Alumni
Football > Texas > Alumni
[View My HotList]