The Chicago Bears could not get their offense going against the Green Bay Packers defense on Thursday, failing to generate any consistency throughout the game.
Jay Cutler was sacked seven times, threw four interceptions and the Bears didn't get the type of production out of their running game they anticipated. The Packers defense gave up 187 yards during their week one loss to the 49ers, which should necessitate the Bears attacking them the same way.
So how did the Bears attack the Packers and why did they come up so short in their bid to score points against a defense that struggled last year and struggled in the opener?
We go behind the All-22 coaches tape to find out what Mike Tice called for the Bears in this game and how they failed to execute.
During the Bears' first two offensive possessions, they rely on the pass on first down, just like the previous week Cutler gets sacked on the first play of the game. From there the Bears call two straight running plays and then punt.
Second drive, more of the same inefficiency on offense for the Bears and a theme is starting to develop in the passing game that would last the entire game. Mike Tice is choosing to take long deep shots down the field in his passing offense and the Packers are playing their coverages to it.
Throughout this game, even when Tice does choose to finally attack more with the running game, when he dials up a play call in the passing game he rarely attacks the short to medium middle of the field choosing instead to go deep.
Tice did start to run the ball more but when the Bears had success in the running game, he did make the adjustment on offense. What usually followed was a major mistake, Gabe Carimi's unsportsman like conduct penalty, Cutler interceptions, Brandon Marshall's dropped touchdown pass.
What didn't change was the constant routes down the field ala the Mike Martz passing attack. The Bears took far too many shots down the field refusing to attack the Packers' blitz-happy defense with short quick efficient passes. Forte was typically the only short option on the check down and he had a good game as a result.
That lack of adjustment on offense really hurt the Bears on offense and put a ton of pressure on Cutler and the offensive line to get the ball down the field. Cutler wound up in a lot of trouble and it allowed Packer defenders to get the jump on a lot of his passes.
Every aspect of this Chicago Bears game plan reminds me of the worst of the last two seasons under Mike Martz. Instead of seven step drops the Bears went shot-gun, but the intent to go deep was there throughout the game.
The Bears have to feature a more balanced passing attack going forward. They have to attack the middle of the field with come back routes or crossing routes over the middle. This type of strategy will be of utmost importance against teams that like to blitz a lot, otherwise the result will be more of what we saw in this Packers game.