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redeyechicago.com

How could Bears offense finish so badly against bad team?

Steve Rosenbloom

The RosenBlog

9:45 AM CDT, October 14, 2013

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The Bears had a bad opponent at home, and the offense should’ve had a big scoring night.

Didn’t happen.

The Bears managed a couple of drives early Thursday evening, and then, pffft. Nothing. Nothing in the end zone, anyway. It’s about touchdowns, and the Bears offense should’ve gotten more.

I mean, the Giants had given up 61 points in the fourth quarter this season. It should’ve been all-you-can-eat.

But no. The Bears got bupkis.

A Giants team that was torched 38-0 by Carolina at home stopped the Bears offense in the second half. The Bears couldn’t get in the end zone in the last two quarters against a winless team with a bad defense. Just to clarify: not a good thing.

The Giants’ miserable offense, in fact, was better than the Bears on third down and more productive in the second half. The Bears got lucky that Eli Manning threw that last interception just because that’s what he does this season.

Marc Trestman said he sees signs of progress in the offense, and I’m thinking, he apparently deleted the second half from his DVR.

It’s weird but clear the way the Bears offense and defense work together, or don’t work together.

The defense takes away the ball like it always did, but if it doesn’t also score, the Bears can’t rely on the offense to win a majority of those games.

The defense has forfeited the defensive line, which has forced the Bears to call more blitzes, which leaves them more vulnerable, which means the offense will have to win shootouts, which seemed possible early, but not lately and certainly not after that second half against a laughable Giants defense.

To be charitable, the offense is inconsistent, which the Bears can’t afford because the defense can’t consistently get three-and-outs.

The Bears either refused to commit to the run or couldn’t execute it. Trestman said he doesn’t care about the run-pass ratio or a balanced attack. He just wants the best play -- the one that gets the Bears into the end zone. Good. Fine. Like it. But how come he couldn’t find one measly play that worked in the last 30 minutes?

When the Bears had to convert third downs, Jay Cutler seemed to throw short or out of bounds. Overall, the Bears' offense scored as many touchdowns as a Giants offense quarterbacked by a guy who threw three interceptions, one for a pick-6.

Has Trestman’s play calling been figured out already? Has he failed to install all of his playbook? Is his quarterback overriding too many calls from the sideline?

Cutler has made smarter decisions this season, willingly throwing away the ball or taking checkdowns. But it might be that he isn’t settling for the short throws enough to help the offense grow.

Or maybe Cutler is audibling out of run plays too much, allowing defenses to game-plan for Cutler’s profile instead of Trestman’s playbook. That’s the most troubling possibility because Trestman is smarter under pressure. Cutler tends to play to type. If opponents believe Cutler will perform to his profile, then defenses can focus on pressuring him into bad mechanics while daring him to make the big throw that his big arm wants to make. Those don’t usually end well for the Bears.

Whatever the reason, the inconsistency is an issue. Fix this. Now. And lookee here, this looks like the week to do it. The Bears get another week in the spa that is the NFC East. They’re facing a Washington team that is 1-4, and how did it win that one?

Opposing quarterbacks have posted a rating that averages well over 100 against Mike Shanahan’s embarrassing defense, among the worst in the league.

The Cowboys started with a long, time-consuming drive. Sunday night. The Redskins were giving away first downs. The Redskins got better or the Cowboys got worse, take your pick, but still, this looks like a week when the Bears' offense gets a do-over. The offense gets a chance to look like a merciless, big-boy operation, and it had better because eventually the Bears are going to face actual football teams.