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Stick To The Script! Getsy, Bears Offense Must Not Overreact.

I know that’s not sexy. I know it’s not the way football is played in the modern NFL. But I also know that they can win playing that way. And that’s all that matters.

#32 David Montgomery/ by John L. Alexander

The Bears early season struggles on offense shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone. This rebuilding team came into the offseason-and regular season- with questions at wide receiver and offensive line. They are being led by a second-year quarterback, already trying to digest his second offensive system. And all of this is being orchestrated by a first time Offensive Coordinator.

None of that led me to be optimistic about their potential offensive productivity. Especially not early in the season.

But it also doesn’t mean that the Bears can’t be successful. They have just enough pieces on offense to play winning, complimentary football. They have a very talented backfield, including their athletically-gifted quarterback. They run an offense with a proven track record for success in the ground game. Once established, that ground game is designed to create opportunities in the passing game, via play-action and bootlegs.

That is the Bears’ formula for success. A potent running game that mixes in some well-timed and well-designed shots downfield. The Bears coaches knew that coming into the season. I certainly hope that they don’t change their approach because of outside noise about their lack of passing, and what that may imply about their belief in quarterback Justin Fields.

The only thing their current approach implies is that they know who they are, what they have, and where they are in the process of developing this offense. Certainly it’s ideal to have offensive balance. We’ve heard Head Coach Matt Eberflus say that he’d like to have a 50/50 ratio of run to pass. But frankly, that’s not where this offense is right now. If they want to be successful, they have to run the ball more than they pass. Perhaps a lot more.

John L. Alexander

I know that’s not sexy. I know it’s not the way football is played in the modern NFL. But I also know that they can win playing that way. And that’s all that matters.

The fact is the Bears, right now, are not good enough at quarterback, wide receiver, or offensive line to throw the ball 35 times a game. That would be a recipe for disaster. They would get consistently blown out trying to play that way. They should not want to throw it more than 20-25 times in a game.

But they do need to be more efficient when they choose to throw it. They have to capitalize on their opportunities. Passes like the play-action shot they took downfield to Darnell Mooney on Sunday must be completed. When Equanimeous St. Brown so badly beats his defender off the line of scrimmage that he throws his hand up and adjusts into a “Go” route, he and Justin must connect. Seizing the opportunities that they have in the passing game should be the focus, not necessarily throwing it more.

The Bears need to continue to lean heavily on the running game. Stick to it when it isn’t productive, as was the case for much of the 49ers game in Week 1. And stick to it when it’s working well, as was the case Sunday night in Green Bay. Stay ahead of the chains, win the time of possession battle, shorten the game, and keep the ball out of harm’s way.

Oh, and use Khari Blasingame more. A lot more. He was on the field for 13 plays against Green Bay. Those plays accounted for 110 yards and a touchdown.

As the offense develops at every level, the Bears should be able to open things up a bit more. But, for now, they need to stick to the script. Damn the outside noise.


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