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How the Bears Managed to Return to a Balanced Attack

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How the Bears Managed to Return to a Balanced Attack
Getty Images Matt Forte Getty Images
How the Bears Managed to Return to a Balanced Attack

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Matt Forte

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After Lovie Smith promised a more balanced attack for the Bears offense, he actually delivered one in the team's win over the Bills. The Bears did more than just run the ball more. They also gave the ball to several different players, creating an offense with several different weapons.

Seven different Bears had receptions. Earl Bennett was the leading receiver with four grabs. He joined by Johnny Knox, Greg Olsen, Devin Hester, Chester Taylor, Matt Forte and Brandon Manumaleuna as guys with catches. Devin Aromashodu would have been on the list, too, if it wasn't for a bad pass from Cutler.

For the first time since the win over the Panthers, the Bears ran more than they passed, with 31 runs and 30 passing attempts. Forte led the way on the ground. Though he racked up an unimpressive 49 yards, he scored the ever important two-point conversion that put the bears up for good. Taylor's numbers were also not earth-shattering, but the touchdown he scored was crucial for the win.

The beauty of the more balanced attack is that it takes pressure off of beleaguered quarterback Jay Cutler. Without having to pass on every play, Cutler didn't take the beating he had in previous games. He was sacked just once, a major drop in the sack rate. This allowed him to do things like find Greg Olsen and Earl Bennett, receivers that he's worked well with in the past, as well as get involved in the running game. Three times, Cutler scrambled for a first down.

The Bears offense was far from perfect on Sunday. Cutler was still having accuracy problems, and Taylor averaged 1.3 yards per carry. But realizing that the offense didn't have to live and die with the pass, or with a small group of receivers is a fine place to start.

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