The last two weeks have been a roller coaster of sorts for fans of the Chicago Bears.
First came the maddening loss to the “little brother” Detroit Lions which coulda/woulda/shoulda been a win.
And then, just this past Sunday’s marathon win over the defending Super Bowl Champion Baltimore Ravens.
Bears Head Coach Marc Trestman had an equal hand in both the win and the loss.
There were multiple questionable decisions in the Lions game: to kick a field goal or go for it on 4th and short; continue to play injured QB Jay Cutler or replace him with a fully healthy Josh McCown; and what about that ridiculous/questionable play calling on the 2pt conversion attempt?!?!
I could go on but you get the idea.
The Bears ended up losing to the Lions and fell out of first place in the division.
Did Trestman’s decisions to:
-not go for the “easy” 3 points but go for a 1st down or touchdown
-hold out hope that Cutler could perform on a bum ankle
-run for a 2pt conversion when they had 20 rushing attempts for 38 yards all game hoping that somehow they would produce in the final minute of the game and get through to the end zone
cost them the game?
Perhaps yes and perhaps no.
I think he called the game to conservatively and would have liked to see him drop the hammer and attack a bit more, but that is my mentality.
For as much as some of Trestman’s decisions may have hurt the team against the Lions; I believe his demeanor and preparation helped against the Ravens.
Athletes and other high performing individuals are creatures of habit and routine.
It is very difficult for anyone who relies on a routine to make adjustments when things get screwed up; like a 2 hour weather delay.
The Bears were a better prepared mentally for the delay than the Ravens where as a whole.
In fact, it was almost as if the Bears came out a different team than the one that initially came out for the game.
At the end of the game, it seemed like Trestman was over thinking things when he refused to call any of his timeouts with the Ravens driving deep in Bears territory late in the game.
The Bears defense held and the Ravens kicked a field goal to tie the game and sent it to over time.
All the announcers (Phil Simms who at times needs a muzzle) kept saying: Trestman needs to call a time out; use your time outs, etc.
After the game Coach Trestman gave an almost 2 minute explanation as to why he held onto his timeouts which can be found here.
It was obviously something he had thought about and taken into consideration before the game even started.
It was a detail and we are beginning to understand how much much Coach Trestman likes, appreciates, thinks about, ponders, prepares for details.
Speaking of details; I also thought it was interesting that the Bears did not throw the ball at all in the 3rd quarter of the game.
Granted, they only had the ball for two possessions and a little over 5 minutes but still; knowing that the wind would affect their ability to throw the ball and choosing not to put the offense in a bad situation was pretty heads up.
The Bears are back in the thick of things in the NFC North race and have 6 very winnable games left on their schedule.
They may be out played in some of those games but I doubt they will be out coached.
What do you think Bears fans: how is the new Head Coach doing in your opinion?