After taking in Sunday’s game in Chicago, I think it’s time for the Bears to rethink their strategy about what gives them the best chance to win.
Certainly, it’s been difficult for the Bears to deal with all the changes along the offensive line, but they didn’t even try to run the ball against the Seahawks. The Bears were facing, statistically, the NFL’s second-worst pass defense and the second-best run defense. That’s a bit of a misnomer, though, because when you have those extremes, there’s a reason you’re the second-best run defense. It’s because everyone is throwing the ball against you.
Another concern is that the Bears exposed the edges for their young tackles. You’ve got a first-year player in J’Marcus Webb at right tackle, and Frank Omiyale – who had been at right guard — at left tackle. The Bears simply didn’t do a whole lot to protect the edges with tight ends or running backs and opened up with a lot of three- and four-wide receiver sets.
The Bears totally abandoned the run when the game wasn’t out of reach. It leaves me to think there are legitimate questions on whether this is the best formula for the Bears to win.
The Bears had just come off a 218-yard rushing game against the Panthers, who are a tough, physical, defensive team. The Bears’ profile is of a team that has been playing very good defense, and if they can run the ball and not turn the ball over — which Jay Cutler is doing a better job of — they can be successful.
I don’t know that the throw-throw mentality is in their best interest.
It’s something that’s going to have to be addressed between Lovie Smith and Mike Martz. You could see during his postgame news conference that Smith was not too pleased with what happened. I’m betting that there will be some conversations about what the Bears will do going forward and how they’re going to go about doing it.
With Green Bay suffering from injuries and questions surrounding the Vikings, the Bears can win the NFC North. But they’ll have to rethink their strategy. They can’t throw the ball as much as they have, and to win that division, I’m not sure they need to.
– Brian Billick
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