There are problems with the Bears offense already, and coordinator Luke Getsy’s odd reliance on Justin Fields in the shotgun from inches away on a critical down only represents a small part of it.
The Bears can’t seem to get Darnell Mooney or Cole Kmet involved in their offense. They aren’t throwing the ball well or much.
Most of all Sunday night in a 27-10 loss to the Green Bay Packers at Lambeau Field, they just didn’t possess the ball and run enough plays.
“There’s obviously some bad things in there that we have to clean up and some good things that we have to take forward with us,” coach Matt Eberflus said.
The bad things first.
They might want to leave behind that fourth-and-inches play out of the shotgun with Justin Fields running into the middle of the line while they had a running back available who gained 122 yards rushing, namely David Montgomery.
The replay challenge on what amounted to a quarterback sneak out of the shotgun to get the Bears within 24-17 at the time failed, but not because it showed Fields didn’t make it. The evidence just wasn’t conclusive enough.
“In regards to the challenge that we had there in the red area on fourth-and-one, I think we had a good look at it, so I made the challenge,” Eberfluls said. “But we thought that was the best play that we had at that point right there for us to score.
“And if we score there it’s a different ballgame. It’s a one-score game at that point and if we score there we’ve still got a chance to win.”
All of which leads to the question about the play call. A Fields run up the middle from shotgun? Really?
“I like it because—and the coaches liked it and we looked at it and we practiced it and repped it,” Eberflus said. “What you do is you outnumber the box.”
By that Eberflus means they have too many people inside for defenders to handle. They did handle it, though. At least they handled it to the liking of the official replay.
“Youre using your quarterback as the runner, you’ve got an additional blocker. You like your numbers in the box there. So that’s why we called it. It was the best play we had right
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there at the time.”
Of the other issues, the biggest might be Fields only getting to throw 11 times. However, they had only 38 plays for the game because they were so ineffective on first down and that led to difficult situations to convert on third downs.
Fields admitted he’d rather throw more than 11 times, a total which really smacks of the John Fox era of Bears offense.
“Yeah of course,” Fields said, when asked about if he would ideally want to throw more. “But again, my job is to run the play that’s given to me the best that I can so I don’t control any of that.”
There are also obvious problems with players not getting touches.
Cole Kmet had no catches for the second straight game. Darnell Mooney had one catch for the second straight game, this a catch of minus-4 yards.
“I think whenever you have adversity you look at all aspects, touches for players and how we’re distributing the ball and I think that’s something we have to look at across the board,” Eberflus said.
Fields said he is hoping to throw it to Mooney.
“Some plays they are (there),” Mooney said. “I’m just going through the reads and if he’s open he’s open. Yah, I do’nt know what else to tell you.”
Eberflus believes they’ll study the thought of balancing out the offense.
“I always think that on offense you have to have balance, so we’re going to have to look at that and we’ll look at that as we assess the game and evaluate the game,” Eberflus said. “But the way were running it, shoot we’re really running it well. We were going with what was working for us.”
For most of the game, that wasn’t much.
They’ll try to find ways to get the attack focused come Week 3 against Houston.
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