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Notes, Scribbles, and Things Jotted Down: Week 3, Packers Edition

  • No sense in avoiding the big ol' elephant standing on the living room table - Martz's playcalling. Last week, we remember there were 7 rushes in the first quarter and 5 the rest of the game. This week, there were only 11 rushes total: 4 in the first, 2 in the second, 3 in the third, 2 in the fourth. My complaint last week was that they were too bunched up and abandoned too quickly - this week, just not a lot one can do. One problem is the total number of plays run (52 only - the Packers had 67), but the other problem is the effectiveness. It's a conundrum - you want to do what works, but at the same time you want to try to keep balance so the opponent can't key in on one area. 13 yards total in the rushing game doesn't get it done, and we know the Bears aren't yet good enough to win with one tool. The runs just have to be better in order for the offense to be better. Execution is the team's biggest problem - not playcalling.
  • Welcome back, Roy Williams - you were the target on both interceptions and dropped a third pass for what would have been a sure touchdown.
  • That being said, however, the two interceptions were on Jay. The first one, Cutler tried throwing too much to the inside of Williams, where Burnett was able to just slide over and field it easily. The second one, Cutler tried to make something out of nothing and just winged it into coverage. Not to pound the "almost-interception" drum (I hate that crap as much as anyone), but Cutler also had a couple throws bounce off Packer defenders, including one intended for Sanzenbacher on the slant-cutback-out thrown so far behind the target it hit the trailing Packer defender in the stomach. Cutler was off target for a good portion of the day.
  • Looks like Dane Sanzenbacher is becoming Cutler's red-zone weapon of choice. Which is really a pretty heavy indictment on Roy Williams, if you think about it. Williams did not have a good game. The Immortal Sanzenbacher now leads the Bears with two touchdowns.
  • I think Johnny Knox just dropped another pass that hit him in the numbers. At least he went up for a ball!
  • I'm not sure how the refs justify Woodson throwing a shoulder into Hester's route running, and I'm not sure how the Hester personal foul wasn't at the minimum offsetting with Sam Shields. Woodson was turned the wrong way, sure, but if a takedown by an offensive lineman is a holding call, a takedown by a defensive back, however "unintentional" it may be, is pass interference. And Shields was all over Hester as much as Hester was all over Shields; that should have been an offset-and-move-on.
  • The refs made the right call on the fumble recovery to not overturn it... I couldn't figure out if Peppers had slid out by the time he had control of the ball, and I don't think the refs had enough to say he was already out of bounds. He could have, he might have, but I can't say with certainty that he did or not.
  • Speaking of adventures in refereeing... Where exactly was the penalty on Graham, and how did it impact any of Knox's untouched touchdown return?
  • I feel like Kellen Davis might have been able to do more damage this game than just his one touchdown catch. Sure, it was in the fourth quarter and the Packers had decided the middle of the field didn't matter, but he shook three tackles to lumber into the end zone. He had one other target all game.
  • Once again, time of possession was a killer. Green Bay, 37:29. Chicago, 22:31. It's a problem when you aren't sustaining drives, which goes back to execution - first downs, manageable down and distance, et cetera. A lot of issues can be solved by having second and five or third and five instead of second and ten or third and fifteen.
  • I'm pretty sure the Bears lead the league in "Penalties After Big First Down Plays or Turnovers." Frank Omiyale got out of bed before this posted and was hit with another false start penalty.
  • So three games in and our second round pick hasn't seen the field. It didn't matter yesterday, but is anyone else concerned?
  • Peppers was a mixed bag yesterday - too many offsides/NZI penalties and not enough big plays.
  • Jermichael Finley just scored another touchdown. The Bears can start covering him any time they like, please.
  • We know this, but the Packers have hell of good receivers and hell of good protection. Tillman matched up for Jennings in the fourth quarter for six seconds, had him covered perfectly, then Jennings broke free to the outside and Rodgers hit him perfectly for a first down. Nothing Tillman could do.
  • The Bears really didn't have much in the way of penetration, and when they did, Rodgers rolled out, extended the play and unloaded the ball just about perfectly - although a good receiver like Jennings can make even slightly bad throws look decent. Yesterday, Cutler looked almost too intent on standing in the pocket to make a throw, and the receivers just aren't good enough to help him when he needs it the most.
  • Clutts had a pretty bad drop, and correct me if I'm wrong, but I didn't see him really used since. Can someone confirm he was not rushed off the field in a van with dark-tinted windows?
  • The Bears just kept putting themselves into second and long and third and long situations all game long. I don't understand Jay's throwing to a covered Hester for ten yards on 3rd and 16, nor the incomplete short throw to Kellen Davis on 3rd and 19 in the third, nor the short throw to Forte for 9 on 3rd and 16, nor the short throw to Forte on 3rd and 33 for 7 yards... Should we just assume at this point that, in a downfield passing offense, on 3rd and more-than-10 the Bears will concede to punt? I know you're not converting 3rd and 33, but where I come from, you don't depend on YAC on a covered receiver to get the first.
  • Too much Steltz. Meriweather wasn't horrible, but not really spectacular either.
  • The worst-case scenario happened yesterday as the Lions beat the Vikings, so the Bears sit two games behind the leaders at 1-2. Nothing to panic about yet, but the play must improve, starting with getting a few more yards on runs.