Bears Are 3-0: Week 3 Observations of a Mad Scientist
The difference between a “Mad” Scientist and a regular scientist is that a regular scientist uses the Scientific Method. A regular scientist uses control, structure and rational calculation to pre-determine an outcome. But, a “Mad” Scientist mixes combinations and stirs ingredients in un-measured quantities because he is looking for the “unexpected”.
The Bears offense was out of sync throughout almost the entire first half. It wasn’t until there was only 1:50 left that the offense seemed to gain some control of the game:
1) Defensive Pressure affects Cutler’s performance (sort of):
- Sacked 3 times
- Forced to scramble twice (but picked up a 15 yard first down)
- Threw two bad passes that should have been intercepted
- Threw an interception
- Hester drops a pass & Knox mis-reads a route
- Somehow, at 1:50 left in the first half, the Bears are only down 10-0 and had 5 completions of over 10 yards, including a 34 yard pass to Knox to setup their touchdown before the end of the half
2) Surprise Calls of the Game – Mad Martz rolls out the Wildcat with Forte at QB and Chester at RB. Chester takes the handoff and runs for 3 yards. Martz would roll it out again in the second half with Forte at QB and an empty backfield. He runs up the middle for 4 yards.
3) First Down Performance – Martz continues to surprise with his first down play selection, especially with how balanced he tries to be:
- On first downs in the first half, Martz calls 6 running plays and 6 passes
- In the second half, Martz calls a handoff to Forte on the first play and then runs a string of 8 pass attempts on 1st down.
- Martz ends the second half with 10 pass plays and 3 running plays on first down
4) Jay Cutler has NO short-term memory – Jay Cutler refuses to think about anything in the past:
- He doesn’t flinch on sacks or knockdowns.
- On the first wildcat play, JC sprints downfield and tries to block a safety.
- Two plays after throwing an interception, he tries to force a ball over the middle and it’s dropped by Collins
- On the next play, he’s sacked. On the next play after that he scrambles 15 yards for a first down, and meanders back to the huddle like he’s trying to remember where he is and what he supposed to do next!
5) Performance of the Line – Should the Bears offensive line be praised because they were able to keep Clay Matthews from getting a sack? Three sacks in a half is not good. But… Kevin Shaffer actually did a really good job on the right side and pancaked Matthews more than once. In the second half, the Bears line gave up ZERO sacks. The one thing to note about this offense is that when Cutler has time, he WILL burn the defense deep. That 34 yard pass to Knox before the end of the first half was an absolute thing of beauty!
6) Things that make you go “WTF” (in a good way!)? – The Packers have NO CLUE about the importance of special teams. None. They may not be the worst special teams unit in the league, but they are DEFINITELY the STUPIDEST!!!
- After the Packers score their first touchdown, they kickoff and stop Danieal Manning at the 21. But an offsides penalty makes them kick it again (good call coach Smith), and Manning makes them pay by doubling up the yardage, returning it to the 42.
- After the Packers score their first field goal, the kicker kicks it our of bounds. Bears get the ball at the 40.
- Packers up 10-0, punt to Hester with 1:50 left in the first half, he nearly breaks it for a TD and is tackled by the punter at the GB 44 yard line.
- And, of course, in the fourth quarter, Hester returns a punt 62 yards for his first touchdown in 31 games!
7) Mad Genius Strikes – There are so many elements to coaching and game tactics. The Packers secondary is not that good and their coverage skills are suspect. I believe that Martz and Cutler KNEW that the secondary would be unlikely to cover our guys on under-thrown balls. In other words, I believe that Martz anticipate the likelihood of interference calls going the Bears way and started to call pass plays designed to force the issue.
Special Comment – the Packers played cheap throughout the game. Clay Matthews started the idiocy on the first play of the game by kicking Forte in the helmet after the play was over. Collins wrestled Forte to the ground on the Bear’s last drive a good 3 seconds after the whistle had blown. Numerous Packers went after the hands of Bears players, trying to strip the ball but really just giving them a semi-legitimate cheap shot after the whistle. This Packers team is “not who we thought they were”. We thought they were a Super Bowl contender. I believe that they proved that they are an undisciplined and stupid football team. Their penalties are not a surprise. They were the most penalized team in the league last year.
I believe that ALL teams reflect the leadership of their coaches. The Bears offense may seem sporadic, but the impact of Mad Martz (and this week Mad Martz Junior – Coach Mike Tice) adapted to the pressure of Green Bay. The offense took the punches of their initial pressure, held up to it, and in the later rounds started giving it back. All the while, the Bears only had 5 penalties for 38 yards. Just two were holding penalties, and there were no illegal motion penalties, no unsportsmanlike conduct penalties, and no illegal formation penalties. Say what you will about the Packers being a “better” team, the Bears are definitely better than many of us expected. And, while they’ve been winning ugly, there’s magic in this madness!