The Bears are in a feel fall, and with each passing week gravity is pulling them closer and closer to reality: This is not a good team. It may be difficult to hear, but there is no greater sting in life than the truth. At 3-5, the bears will look to come back after the bye week to try to finish strong. Personally I have my reserves on the whole matter; I feel that Trestman should not call the offense plays, I feel that the lack of a vertical threat has become detrimental to the play of Alson and Brandon, and for the 2nd year in a row, the defense is decimated by injures and old age.
This defense under Trestman is the worst it has been in an extremely long time. The Chicago Bears are notoriously known for their stout defense and stable offense. Watching games this year, you can see where the team breaks down. On offense, the team doesn’t run the ball as often as they should. As a result, teams are in medium to deep coverage because they know they Bears going to throw it. On Defense, nobody can stop the pass. The number one concern this season, stopping the run, has been the best thing about the bears this year and that is not saying a whole lot.
Some changes need to be made to this roster, and quickly. Believe it or not, the season isn’t over. Yes, I know it feels like it. But the Bears are fully capable getting into the playoffs and 10-6 team. but to do it they need to do a lot of retooling in a short amount of time. Here are the reasons why the Bears find themselves in the hole they are in halfway in the season
1) Utilize the run
The Bears have the second best running in a Bears uniform since the late Walter Payton. There is no excuse to why the bears do not run the football more often. Think about games when the Bears did run the football, even if it wasn’t great , teams were forced to protect the run. Because the Bears do not have receivers that will beat you down the field, it is imperative to win first and second downs. This is accomplished with either running the football on first or second down to bring the team closer, preferably with 6 yards to gain a first down. This is not a revolutionary concept but a fundamental of a team capable of running the football.
To compare, last season The Cowboys did not run the football as much they do now,same team and same chemistry. The difference is that they run the ball with effectiveness, opening up the passing game when needed. Yes the Cowboys have a phenomenal offensive line, however the principles are still there – run the ball if you have somebody to run the ball. The play calling this season has been nothing short of questionable, which brings me right to my next point
2) Play Calling
The play calls on offense have been very strange. Marc Trestman is obsessed with Alshon and the screen pass. I find it odd how frequently a play is called for Alshon to do a bubble screen of some form of a sweep. These play have been coming at very odd times in the game 2& 10, 3& short. Most of the time these plays come when they could just run the football. On Sunday alone I counted multiple times when Trestman calls for screen play on 2nd down and who ever the ball is passed to gets tackled for a loss. The plays are extremely telegraph-able and the result is a 3rd down and long distance which the Bears have struggled mightily against.
There is a huge disconnect on offense in terms of communication and trust. From what I can see, Trestman does not trust the intelligence of Jay Cutler enough to let him air our the football. Trestman has Cutler throwing the ball in plays that he struggle with the most during his entire career; post passes and hook passes. Those plays give Cutler an extremely hard time because the timing and communication is always off. Yet those plays are called on a regular basis probably one of the reasons that defense can play so well against the Bears.
Our Defense is awful. As in really, really bad. The only good game the Bears defense played well was when majority of the defense was made up of rookies and free agents. I am making a bold statement and I hope after Sundays game you too can see it – Lance Briggs is not the defensive leader the Bears what him to be. Hell he is not even half the player they expected him to be. His defensive play calling is poor at best, and the result is begging to show.
Over the past 2 weeks,Chad Henne and Tom Brady have combined for a whopping 85% completion rating. If you don’t know what that means, I will translate – they have completed an absurd amount of passes without any struggle. Over the last 4 games, the Bears have given up 12 touchdowns. Assuming you have a kicker, that is 21 points a game that the Bears can guarantee. The biggest part of it?
Injuries, injuries and injuries.
The injuries have left the team in a state of emergency. The only thing that has been good is Kyle Fuller and the front four. We will see how Lamar Houston’s absence will affect the performance of the defense’s ability to stop the run. At this rate, the defense will be entirely rookies by the end of the season. The worst part about the injuries is the rate they are scraping away at the roster. At this point the Defense looks like a gutted fish, no meat, all bones and really path
Sundays game is going to be a pivotal point in the Jay Cutler Era. While it is hard to see the Bears making the playoffs sitting at 3-5 after the halfway point, they can still salvage what is left of their pride. I have said it before the season started – the Bears had one of the most difficult first halves in the NFL, playing 5 games away against good teams. Jay Cutler is going to be forced to come out strong on Sunday’s game. The enthusiastic fan wished they can turn it around, going 7-1 into the playoffs. The grim reality is that this Bears team is facing an 8 and 8 record and all signs suggest that will be the outcome for this season, and Jay Cutler may not be the quarterback the Bears expected after all. There is going to be a lot to think about at Hallis Hall the second half of the season. All we can do is wait and see how it turns out.