Where our many other great writers, who are all way, way more knowledgeable about X's and O's than I allows them to write about match-ups, grades and which plays and players will work to help the Bears or shutdown our opponent, I am left to just sort of play the role of sports writer and point out stats and write generally about my concerns or opinions of our team is. I strive for accuracy, though, which is more than I can say about some in the biz. Anyway, let's see if I can get in a full column without my thread getting jacked like on Monday...:) (I kid, I kid).
Now one thing I want to explore in this crazy, mixed up world we call the NFL, is that how, in a year with bigger passer numbers than ever, so big in fact, that according to Elias Sports Bureau the four biggest weeks in NFL history for total passing yards have all been this season. So, I ask, in this pass-happy environment, how on Earth is Mike Martz's system failing?
It seems like just a few years ago, when Martz was flaming out in St. Louis people were saying that his system was dead, that following the Super Bowl loss to the Patriots every team knew the way to beat the Rams and that a pass-whacky system like that couldn't work with great success. In fact, there are some facts to back that up with, no quarterback who led the league in passing has ever won the Super Bowl. Fine, but it looks like this season there is a small chance for that to change, or at least in the near-future.
But why is Martz's system failing? Is it that we don't have the personnel? Is it that we don't have the QB? The WRs? Seems like everybody has a theory or a reason why, but I just find it hard to believe that in a pass-happy NFL, a pass-happy system like Martz's would fail.
Could it be that it's the wrong system? Perhaps Martz hasn't adapted his system enough to keep up and beat defenses that are also geared up to beat the pass. The Bears rank 25th in pass yards per game with 211.5. This is one spot behind Denver (224.0) and in front of Indy and St. Louis (tied with 187.0), Seattle (186.5), San Francisco (177.5), Kansas City (159.8), Minnesota (154.8) and Jacksonville (137.5). Not exactly the company I want to be in. I still believe we have the right quarterback, I just think we have the wrong coordinator and general manager.
Can we cover a tight end, like at all?
One of my biggest concerns for the defense, in accordance to what I pointed out Monday, is also our inability to cover tight ends. We are getting literally eaten alive by them. Week 1; Tony Gonzalez 5 receptions, 72 yards, 0 TD, week 2; Jimmy Graham 6/72/0, week 3; Jermichael Finley 7/85/3 and finally week 4; Greg Olsen and Jeremy Shockey combined for 7/91/1.
I am not sure who this success for tight ends comes down to and granted, most of those guys are tough for anyone to match up against but still. Is this us missing Chris Harris or is on our LBs or CBs or a combination. I apologize for my lack of knowledge about who is generally responsible for TEs in the zone system our defense plays in and I know it depends on the play, but still, we need to get better. Pettigrew could have a big night against us Monday.
That's all I have for now, so let me know what you all think about this.