The Chicago Bears have any numbers of issues following their 0-1 start last week.
Those issues appear to be right where they were at the end of last season: questionable offensive line play, up and down secondary, struggling rush defense and troublesome pass rush.
However, one of the biggest losses from last season really reared its ugly head in week one: the loss of playcaller Adam Gase.
Dowell Loggains’ debut as offensive coordinator was a big let down as the team’s offense struggled to move the ball as the game went on. The offense managed 14 first downs and 258 total yards. The Bears were 4 of 13 on third down and 0 for 2 on fourth down.
It’s only one game and the starting offensive line had all of four practices together in their starting iteration but the performance did not leave Bears fans feeling good about where the offense was starting.
Looking beyond the offensive stats make a case that Loggains wasn’t just ineffective but outright bland, tipping the offense’s hand to the defense by formation.
#Bears ran PA 3 times.No 3 step drops.0 runs shotgun, 4 passes under center. Runs w/9 outside zone, 6 inside zone, 2 power wham, 1 counter.— Draft Dr. Phil (@FulphilO) September 15, 2016
A little more depth on this tweet from Brad Biggs:
The Bears snapped the ball 32 times in shotgun formation and did not hand off once. They had 24 snaps with quarterback Jay Cutler under center and ran 19 times. One game doesn't make a trend.
The Bears ran eight plays with tight ends Zach Miller and Logan Paulsen on the field and didn't attempt a pass, surely something that will change soon as they look to mix it up.
The Bears were effective when they ran out of the shotgun formation last season. Nearly half (103) of Matt Forte's 218 carries came from the shotgun. He averaged 4.2 yards per carry from the shotgun. The Bears were in the shotgun 74 percent of the time in 2015 under former offensive coordinator Adam Gase, the fifth-highest figure in the NFL.
Those things make the offense predictable, as the game goes on it gives the defense a chance to cheat. The pressure on Jay Cutler only seemed to get worse as the game wore on (four of the five sacks came in the second half). For a complete breakdown of those sacks check out Sackwatch from our own Lester Wiltfong.
The Bears also need to commit to the run more and having the run be more effective than it was last Sunday would go a long way too.
Jeremy Langford ended up averaging 3.4 yards per carry with a long of 15 yards. The Bears want to be a running team and perhaps it will be easier against an Eagles team that allowed 5.7 yards per rush to the Browns.
There were times last year where fans lamented how many screens the Bears ran, but the fact is that the moves that Ryan Pace made to the offensive line during the offseason were with the idea in mind that the team would be able to pull their interior linemen and get them outside and down field blocking more.
Loggains should have used more of that athleticism he has inside to get outside and get the Texans’ athletic DL backing off more. This is something that needs to happen more on Monday night. Try more sweeps and screens.
Finally, not to harp on a popular meatball thought from the Mike Tice and Mike Martz era, but where was the moving pocket? Jay Cutler has very good mobility and it’s something he’s often said he’s comfortable with, so why not use some bootlegs and plays that move the pocket to get Jay outside on the run?
The offense is a work in progress with two interior linemen learning new positions and the middle and left side all working with new guys next to them but the play calling needs to have more variety and creativity if the Bears are going to win Monday night.
What did you think of Loggains’ first game? What does he need to change for Monday?