Sometimes, it’s hard to watch…

September 19th, 2011

I think I’ve calmed down enough after yesterday’s Bears game in New Orleans to talk about it without shouting.

Matt Forte Tripped Up

Matt Forte Tripped Up

7-3 after one quarter: Nice start.  10-16 at the half: One score game.  13-23 after three: Field goals will not cut the deficit.  Final score 13-30: [Banging head against desk]

Last week, as part of clearing up my computer and getting ready for the new year (read: season) I found myself re-watching the Bears game against the Giants from last year.  The offense was awful, and gave up too many sacks, but it was 3-0 at the half, 10-0 late in the third quarter, and 10-3 with lots of time left.

What was my critique of that game?  What is my critique of yesterdays Bears game?

The O-line isn’t the problem:  They could block better, they could have fewer injuries, etc; still not the problem.

Somewhere between Martz, Cutler, and the snap of the ball there is no audible/play change to account for the blitz. Cutler isn’t Brady, Manning or Rodgers, but still… QB’s should be able to read and adjust to a blitz.  Especially if they know their line is struggling, or if their ‘blocking’ tight end isn’t blocking. (I’m looking at you Mr. Davis)

I see very little audible-ing from Cutler.  I wonder if it’s a direction from the coaches, or if he isn’t comfortable changing things at the line.  In any case, it has got to change.   Short dump offs to RB’s or WR’s or screens work really well against an aggressive defense, especially with the likes of Forte, Knox and Hester who all have the ability to make players miss.  Aside from one slight overthrow by Cutler, the screen & short passing game worked to perfection against Atlanta last week.

And why, you might ask, where the Saints able to key on the blitz?  Because the Bears never showed any deep threat, allowing the defense to play up, taking away the running game.  If you don’t run, you don’t throw deep, you don’t throw quick to the flat, then all you have is check downs to the RB out of the back field.  As good at Forte is, he shouldn’t be the leading receiver, and probably shouldn’t have more passing yards than rushing yards.

By the fourth quarter, I was getting so upset at the lack of creativity in the play calling.  The Saints were more than happy to give Forte and Cutler the middle of the field.  It stays in bounds to keep the clock running, and it isn’t a big yardage play.

The defense didn’t have the same sort of statistical success that  it had last week against Atlanta, but when the offense has six three-and-outs, only two drives more than 6 plays, and only one drive longer than 2:30… forcing the Saints into five three-and-outs is not too shabby.  And if you put the Safety in a better position to deal with Henderson’s speed, we’re talking about a 10-9 halftime lead, and a one score game in the fourth quarter.

I can only assume that the Packers are watching the tape of this game and drooling over the possibilities for next week.

Here’s the silver lining, and it has little to do with anything good that happened yesterday.  Last season, in week 4, the Bears offense was manhandled by the Giants in a similar game to yesterday’s Bears-Saints match-up.   That Bears team went on to win the division, and host the NFC Championship game and, had the ball bounced a little differently, they could have very easily ended up playing the Steelers last February in the Super Bowl.

Are the 2011 Bears Super Bowl ready?  Are they even playoff ready?  I don’t know. My hunch is ‘no’ on both counts after yesterday, but I was quite high on them after week 1.  We will have to wait and see what happens the rest of the way…

Tagged , , ,

What's this?

You are currently reading Sometimes, it’s hard to watch… at The Story of Abe.