Why tempo doesn't matter when Bears play Packers


When taking on an explosive offense, led by a prolific quarterback there are typically two schools of thought when your team has the ball: Hold onto the ball as long as you can to keep the opposing offense on the bench, or score as fast as you can to try to keep up. The Bears have tried both methods this year, to minimal success. The key, according to offensive coordinator Bill Lazor, is that no matter what method the team’s tried, they haven’t found the endzone enough.

“None of the strategies work if you don’t score,” Lazor said. “I remember in college going up against a triple option team years ago and say, ‘OK, we’re gonna keep the ball away from them, slow it down, because they’re so good running the clock and they keep the ball.’... Well, all of that just trying to keep the ball and we didn’t score. After about however many drives they were ahead by three scores and now they could just run the ball.”
Point in case, last week the Bears ran 71 plays, vs. the Cardinals’ 51 plays. They gained 72 more yards on offense and held the ball for 9:30 longer than Arizona, too. If you look at all of that in the box score, you probably think the Bears had won handily. But in reality, they lost by 11 because all of that offense led to only three touchdowns. Meanwhile, the Cardinals did more with less, scoring four touchdowns and two field goals.


“Having 18 plays doesn’t count, doesn’t help if you don’t end up with a score. So, no matter how we choose to play, we have to score.”

The Bears will have one of their best offensive weapons back in the lineup as Justin Fields is set to start again. Allen Robinson said on Thursday he’s trending towards a return this weekend as well. They’ll have to hope that will help to generate more points, because right now the Bears’ 16.8 points per game ranks third-worst in the NFL. And against Rodgers and the Packers that simply won’t be enough to win.

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