Both Bears fans and myself were waiting to see if Martz could top the Dallas offensive play calling performance from earlier this season, and he certainly did just that this past Sunday against the heavily favorited Eagles. Martz took us back to Jay Cutler circa '07 calling PA bootlegs and designed roll outs where the pocket was also moving. All of this while sticking to his Coryell Roots as far as the routes the receivers were running were concerned. Bears fans' confidence in Martz should be in the high percentages as the OC coming off the bye has made the necessary adjustments that have helped this offense. I think Martz has finally got it through his thick skull that he doesn't have the personnel (specifically offensive line) to run this scheme to its entirely, and with the receivers and backs struggling to grasp it, he had to simplify it down. The adjustment have gotten the Bears on a four game win streak and put them in position to not only make the playoffs, but be a top seed in the NFC.
The game plan Martz had this past Sunday was excellent. Martz didn't play into the hands of Eagles DC Sean McDermott by restricting Jay to just a pocket passer against a blitz heavy defense. Martz blended in bootlegs and rollouts to take advantage of Cutler's strengths while neutralizing the Eagles who have success rushing against drop back pocket passers with either blitzes or just their rush ends. When he wasn't calling for roll outs and a moving pocket, he was attacking the Eagles' aggressive defense with quick passes off 3 and 5 step drops. The play action passing was also effective only because he stayed committed to the run. McDermott had no answer for Martz as he was kept on his heels all game. This was truly Martz's best game from a playcalling perspective.
Best Playcall - On 2nd & 11, the Eagles were showing an overload blitz on Omiyale's side. Mike knew that the Eagles were going to send a blitz on 2nd and long call for a WR bubble screen to not expose his line and more importantly his QB. Devin Hester motioned out of the slot to the outside. When the ball is hiked, Cutler sells the fake hand off and throws to Hester who gets the ball in space and gains 39 yards. It was a great play call by Martz and a great execution by the players to take advantage of the Eagles' aggressiveness. What made the play successful was the fake handful that froze linebacker Stewart Bradley to where he didn't have enough time to get over there and slow Hester down. Chris Williams' block on the defensive back was also key because if Williams was not there, Hester would have slowed down a bit, allowing Bradley back into the play to make a stop short of a first. That play would set up a touchdown catch by Johnny Knox, giving this group the added confidence that they can continue scoring on this defense.