For the first time in four weeks, the Bears offensive line did not look good. David Montgomery and Cordarrelle Patterson had no room to run. Nick Foles didn’t have much time or space to throw, and the Bears were only able to muster a measly 11 points-- eight of which came in the closing minutes of the game. On Football Aftershow, Olin Kreutz, Lance Briggs and Alex Brown broke down the problems, and how they think the team should move forward.
“You start to wonder now,” said Kreutz. “The offense obviously had more problems than just Mitch Trubisky.”
“I think today was the first day we saw our offensive line truly struggle,” said Brown. “With Foles’ play, the offensive line just didn’t play like they had been playing the previous three weeks.”
Now you may think this could be a one-week blip, as the Colts boast the No. 1 passing defense and No. 2 rushing defense in the league. But Kreutz and Brown warned that there may be more trouble ahead.
“They need a plan,” said Kreutz. “Because on Thursday night the defensive line coming in, you know, Shaq Barrett, (Ndamukong) Suh, Jason Pierre-Paul-- these guys get after you, and (defensive coordinator Todd) Bowles blitzes you. So they need answers for the pass rush for Foles.”
And for all the criticism that Kreutz has heaped on Trubisky since 2019, he admitted Trubisky can negate a pass rush in ways that Foles can’t.
“Foles, unlike Trubisky, he’s going to stay in the pocket,” said Kreutz. “He’s going to stay in that spot. And if you get pushed back, you’re going to be in his lap.”
“Today, (the Colts) were able to control the line without bringing a safety down,” said Brown. “They were able to stop the run for the Bears without bringing that safety down.
“If Tampa’s able to do that, it’ll be the same thing. It’ll be the same thing as far as us not being able to run, and then they can just drop back and Foles just has to be better.”
As a team, the Bears ran the ball 16 times for only 28 yards. That comes out to a pathetic 1.75 YPC. But Kreutz thought personnel issues hurt the Bears as well, and if they had the right weapons they might’ve done better.
“I think they missed Tarik Cohen against a team like that. A guy they could check the ball down to, matchup against the linebackers, a good scat back out of the backfield.”
It’s true, a check down option with breakaway speed can help negate a dominating defensive line, but without that option now, what can the Bears do to help Foles and the offensive line?
“The gameplan has to change at some point to where you’re helping the offensive line out,” said Kreutz. “By giving the tackles help, leaving tight ends in (to block), and they never really switched to that. And the Colts were able to get pressure with four.
“They ran with the two tight end set, and then Jimmy Graham leaked late into the flat. They needed more things like that.”
But again, this is only one week, and Kreutz doesn’t think it’s time for the Bears to throw everything out and panic.
“It’s the old chicken and the egg argument. Were the Bears good, or were they lucky? Well now, this defense made them look bad, and this team made them look like they were getting lucky. As we go on, was it this defense, or is the Bears offense a problem? That’s what happens in Week 4.
“First bad game under coach Castillo. This is when you circle the wagons and the outside noise is out. No pointing fingers, we just got to get stuff fixed.”