With injury after injury on the Bears’ offensive line, fans may wonder how the Bears can win even if the defense holds a team under 20 points. It’s a fair question as the Bears offense has averaged a measly 16 points over their last five games. Chris Simms understands, but says the Bears can still find a way to make things work.
“It does hurt, there’s no doubt about that,” Simms told NBC Sports Chicago. “But you can overcome it. You can. Of course, that will go on to Matt Nagy and Nick Foles, and what they do, and how they approach the game plan.”
In fact, Simms says the Bears don’t have to look far for a formula to win without relying on the O-line.
“A great example of this would be just last week, as the Tennessee Titans, they played a team in Cincinnati that had all these offensive line issues, had to put three new starters in there. One of the starters they had just signed to the team five, six days before that. So, you can make it work.”
Believe it or not, Simms also thinks the Bears can hang their hat on one specific concept they used offensively against the Saints.
“One thing I take away from the game against the Saints and what the Bears did… the Bears are at their best, and they drive the ball at their best, when they just spread the field. Throw quick gains and let Nick Foles pick you apart. Then when, ‘Oooh, you’re getting a little aggressive, we’ll throw a shot downfield to Mooney, or whoever.’ Also, Matt Nagy and David Montgomery-- Matt Nagy is better at run design when they’re spread, and Montgomery’s a better run when they’re spread.
“From that standpoint, when they play that type of game, the offensive line issues-- yeah, they’re not going to be perfect-- but like what Joe Burrow did to the Tennessee Titans last week, which was get the ball out of his hands quick… I think the Bears can follow that formula against a struggling Titans defense that’s had a hard time stopping just about everyone this year.”
Last week, the Bengals upset the Titans 31-20 in arguably the most surprising result of Week 8. Following the game, the Titans’ passing yards allowed, passing touchdowns allowed and rushing yards/carry allowed all rank in the bottom-10 of the NFL. They also only have seven sacks on the season, which is tied for second-worst in the league.
After facing the Rams and Saints-- two teams that rank in the top-10 for passing yards allowed-- the Titans could be just the defense to help the Bears and Nick Foles get back on track.