Pages of running plays missing from Mike Martz playbook
With Jay Cutler back on the field, Mike Martz took to the air calling the offensive plays for the Chicago Bears on Sunday. And he stayed there.
It was a mind-numbing performance by the Bears, who were forced to go without Cutler last week at Carolina as he sat out with a concussion. Cleared to return behind a patchwork offensive line, Martz went with a pass-heavy approach against the Seattle Seahawks and Cutler was hit time and time again in the Bears' 23-20 loss.
The Seahawks sacked Cutler six times and hit him on several more occasions. The Bears rushed for 218 yards last week at Carolina, the most they’ve had as a franchise since 1990, and Martz called 47 pass plays to 12 runs against Seattle.
“There was an emphasis to run the ball. We tried to run the ball a little bit,” Bears coach Lovie Smith said. “Couldn’t do that. It’s just not as simple as you look at what happened the week before and you say well you just do that every time. It’s a little more than that.
“We didn’t get a lot done with the running game today. Last week we got something going early with the running game, which allows you to do it a little more. But again, today, yes, after getting beat like that, wish we had run it a little more and maybe we would have gotten a little bit more production from it. But on a day like today, I don’t know.”
Something is terribly amiss. In the last six quarters with Cutler, the Bears are 0-for-19 on third down and Cutler has been sacked 15 times. Martz has called pass plays 79 percent of the time in that span. Something sound broken to you?
“I felt fine physically,” Cutler said. “There was never any concern with that. I felt fine out there playing. We didn't get it done today. It's very simple. We've got to get back and look at the film and see exactly what happened.”
A lot happened. Little of it went right.
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Brad Biggs covers the Bears for the Chicago Tribune
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