Bears over Panthers: Week 5 Observations of a Mad Scientist


Life can be hard for a Mad Scientist – all this energy and intelligence bursting from his cranium. And nothing can be more frustrating than when he runs out of his most prized and explosive ingredients. Sure, you – the average, non-Mad Scientist type of person – might simply go to a store or trade someone for replenishment. But occasionally the Mad Scientist will use up one his most prized ingredients and when it’s gone, the ingredients that the Mad Scientist is left with don’t have the usual combustion or incandescent flare up.  Or worse, they don’t do anything at all!

Todd Collins was a mistake. He looked afraid to go into the Giants game, and in the Panthers game he looked as comfortable as a scarecrow next to a torch. What I don’t understand is how the coach didn’t see that look too. The difference in energy, intensity and effort displayed by Hanie versus Collins makes me wonder if we’ll ever see Collins on the field again.

1) Playcalling

  • On 1st down, Martz called 20 running plays and 4 passes.
  • The first down passes were either bubble screens or swing passes to the running backs.
  • By the way, the Bears threw three swing passes to the RBs – gained 8, 13 and 7 yards. In the Giants game, only 1 swing pass (gained 6 yards)
  • I have to say a lot of the production in our running game seemed to come from Forte himself. I can’t say the line was opening huge holes for him, except maybe on his 68 yard TD.

2) Forte versus Taylor – Chester Taylor looks off his game. The two running backs don’t seem like they are complimenting each other as much as Taylor is simply “resting” Forte.

  • Forte 22 carries versus Taylor’s 18 carries
  • Forte ran for 166 total yards (7.5 average yards per rush). Take out his 68 yard breakaway, and he’s still averaging 4.6 yards per rush.
  • Taylor ran for 43 total yards (2.4 average yards per rush). His longest was 10 yards. Take that out and his average per carry is 1.9.
  • Taylor looks more comfortable flaring out for swing passes and check downs, and yet we don’t use him that way.
  • Forte looks as strong as ever. His cutbacks, shake moves and power started to seem Payton-esque yesterday. No, I am not comparing him (or anyone – ever!) to Walter Payton, but the game really seemed like a throw-back to the Bears under Ditka. Inside run right, inside run left, pitch right, pitch left, attempted pass for an incompletion, power sweep left!
  • When you watched Taylor run with the ball, I think you saw the weakness in the line. When Forte ran the ball, he did a great job if staying patient or bouncing to the outside. Taylor doesn’t seem to have the confidence or explosiveness.

3) Collins Passing Game – “6 of 16 with 4 interceptions” doesn’t actually describe how horrible his production was.

  • Of the 6 receptions, the longest was a swing pass to Forte for 14 yards. Two were slants, the rest were checkdowns or swing passes to the RBs
  • On two plays, Collins play action was terrible, and no one bought it. Both resulted in sacks. I can’t stress enough how weak Collins is at all of the small details of being an NFL quarterback. The contrast between him and Hanie was huge. After every handoff, Caleb play-acted that he had the ball, sprinted bootleg-style without the ball. Collins, meanwhile, just meandered backwards while watching the runner. And then wondered why his play-action fakes didn’t work.
  • Two passes were batted away (one was also intercepted).
  • On the Bears 18 yard line, Collins was afraid of throwing another interception. He was sacked once and threw the ball away (which prompts the question: why was Martz calling pass plays from our 18 yard line?).
  • Collins missed Olsen by a mile on one pass attempt, missed Bennett by 10 yards on his second interception, underthrew Taylor on a screen attempt, hit Hester perfectly on an inside slant, but Hester was so surprised, he dropped it. And, finally, once Collins actually had plenty of time and a nice pocket, he demonstrated why he never started in the NFL by telegraphing his throw to the middle of the field and throwing his fourth interception.
  • Oh, and let’s not forget the 3rd and goal play that could have put the game completely out of reach in the 2nd quarter. Collins telegraphed his throw so bad, a lineman dropped back to intercept it.

4) WTF – 3rd and goal with a chance to put the game away, and a line that badly needed a confidence boost on the goal line, and Martz calls a pass play from the 2 yard line, which Collins telegraphs and throws for an interception. Seriously, Martz WTF!!!

5) Mad Genius Strikes – I don’t know whether it was Martz, or Tice, or Lovie, or Jerry Angelo. But someone decided to shake up the line. Instead of Frank Shaffer and Lance Louis, the Bears used Edwin Williams and J.Marcus Webb on the right side. I don’t know if this was punishment for the debacle last week. I don’t know if this is because EW and J’MW are better run blockers. But it showed once again that the coaches aren’t putting up with any BS. If they could only get rid of Frank Omiyale (1 illegal motion penalty and 1 holding penalty), then we might be on to something.

Despite the Panthers best efforts to run blitz with all three linebackers, the Bears were pretty successful running the ball. Considering that was their game plan, and considering that Todd Collins has 10 years of “NFL Backup” experience, I can understand starting him. But not after watching that first half. I am shocked the Bears didn’t put Hanie in sooner, and I hope that they apply the same level of accountability to their QB’s that they have with Tommy, Mark Anderson, and Zach Bowman.