Even after being 8 points away from going to the Superbowl, nobody thought the Bears would be all that good in the beginning of the season. In fact, 80 percent of bettors took the Falcons on the road over the Bears. Poor them, as the Bears mauled the Falcons 30-12. The next week, however, the Bears got a taste of their own medicine as the New Orleans Saints beat them 30-13. Since that game, the Bears have lost 2 out of 3, with their only victory coming against a Panthers team who has only won one game and that was against one of the worst teams this year, the Jaguars. Although bar from the Saints game, the Bears had a chance to beat the Packers and the Lions. However, their execution in those games wasn’t sound. They had a lot of silly penalties and bone-head decisions in both games, causing them to lose.
When a team almost makes it to the superbowl and the following year start below .500, eyebrows become raised and fingers start being pointed.
A lot of people will point the fingers at the offensive line. Rightfully so, because there is no excuse for them to be playing as bad as they are. If records were kept for offensive lines, I believe this one would rank very low. However, it is not like this is something new for the Chicago Bears. Last year there line was just as bad. Instead of building a more solid line, they went out and picked up things they didn’t really need. Meanwhile, they got rid of their pro-bowl center, making the line even worse. They also got rid of Greg Olsen who wasn’t only a great target for Jay Culter, but also a pretty solid blocking tight-end.
The problem with this team is the terrible management and coaching. For whatever reason, Lovie Smith still has a job with the Bears. His gameday decision making has made people of the opposing team cringe. He has no idea how to manage a game. He’s constantly doing things that make people wonder if he even knows the rules.
A great example of Lovie Smith’s bad coaching was this week against the Lions. There’s 48 seconds left with the ball around the 30 yard line. They have no timeouts and a great kicker. They’re down 11 points, so mathematically, if they kick the FG, they’re down 8 with a chance of getting both an onside kick and scoring a TD with about 40 seconds left and then getting the 2 to tie it up. Of course, this is no easy task, but it shows the players that they should never say die and keep fighting. What they did instead was slowly march down the field and tried scoring a touchdown against a prevent defense. Unless Lovie Smith bet on the game and was trying to cover the spread, I have no idea what he was trying to accomplish.
Then we get to Mike Martz, the “offensive genius”. Just to make it clear, the Rams had talent up the you know what. They were able to pull off his play-calls. I mean, really, anyone could’ve won with the best runningback, the best wide receivers, a great offensive line, and Kurt Warner
The point simply is Martz had all this talent and he could do anything he wanted with them. Now he has a good but sometimes inconsistent QB, a bad offensive line, and a good running game. Instead of adapting to his surroundings, he sticks to his philosophies – 5 step drops, wait until somebody gets open, take the big hit and walk it off. Kurt Warner was tough as nails and to a degree Jay Cutler is too, but he cannot continue to take big hits time and time, not to mention it took a lot of miles off Warner’s career. Knowing the Lions have a great defensive line and they have a terrible offensive line, one would think Mike Martz would make those key adjustments and create plays that can avoid the pass-rush. However, he didn’t do that. He had Cutler dropping back with no max protection or anything. In fact, a lot of the formations they ran were either spread formation or their backs going out for a pass.
Until Bears find a coaching staff that know how to run a football team, they’re not going to see the playoffs for a long time. The Packers are too talented and the Lions are talented and well-coach for the Bears to keep up to pace with them. Lack of discipline (you never see a Bill Bellichick team commit stupid mistakes even with his young players, right?), terrible fundamental knowledge, poor game decisions, lack of proper adjustments, and bad playing calling will never win you games no matter how talented your team truly are.