On Thursday night following the disappointing, ugly (insert your own term) Bears 23-10 loss at Green Bay, one of my initial thoughts was why didn’t the offense execute a plan for managing Green Bay’s blitz? Pretty standard, when the offense sees the defense lining up to blitz, the quarterback has the option to audible and use standard means of neutralizing the blitz. (Now that Mike Tice’s offense gives Cutler the ability to call audibles, which Mike Martz’ system did not.) Common counters to blitzing/heavy pass rush are to execute runs such as draw plays, screen passes, and hot routes.
Seems that my logic was totally faulty. In Saturday’s Chicago Tribune I read that on only something like six plays the whole night did the Packers send more rushers than the Bears had offensive players to block them. So the fact of the matter is, the Bears offense just got flat-out whipped by the Green Bay defense, no question. So the problem is much greater than the Bears just executing-it’s clear at this point that their offense is not going to succeed here the way it’s currently put together.
I’ve been a huge Jay Cutler backer and defender since the Bears acquired him in 2009. Many said at the time, and following Chicago getting to know his personality after his first year, that Cutler will never be a winner. He’s not a leader, he’s too volatile, he’ll never stop making poor decisions, etc. I continued to say regardless, he’s still the best quarterback the Chicago Bears have fielded since they had the trio of Sid Luckman/Johnny Lujack/Bobby Layne in 1948.
It’s still totally apparent that Cutler has never had a legitimate offensive line in front of him in Chicago. I can’t blame him for being disgusted by that. And what happened to the rollouts/getting Jay out of the pocket/”playing to his strengths” that were promised by Mike Tice and Jeremy Bates when they took over to create the offensive playbook this season? But I will say, Cutler to me is developing his first cracks in his reputation in my eyes. He has to start being a leader so as not to risk losing the locker room.
And finally, after reading some of the comments on here following my praising of Lovie Smith after the game, I see everyone’s point. After being very critical of Smith during his Chicago tenure, for some reason after this game I developed a bit of respect for him. Following the fake field goal score by the Packers, I had never seen more disgust on his face. Which is an improvement for him to actually show emotion. And in his postgame press conference I could tell how disappointed he was to have lost that game.
But there is also no denying the facts. The Bears will never have success without beating the Packers consistently, just as Smith himself said upon his hiring in 2004. He started 6-2 against Green Bay in his first four seasons. Since then he is 2-8. His teams haven’t beaten the Packers in Lambeau Field since 2007. It’s more of the same for the Bears on the road against their arch-rivals and this is not sustainable.
It is still early. There is still time to get some things righted. But it’s not going to happen with any more pathetic performances like last Thursday’s game.
Some thoughts on the offensive line tomorrow.