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MATCHUPS THAT MATTER: BEARS AT COWBOYS

| September 22nd, 2016

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There is only one match-up that matters this week.

DOWELL LOGGAINS & JOHN FOX

VS.

COMMON SENSE

Objectively speaking, the Bears chances of having a meaningful season took a massive hit with their dismal, injury-laden performance Monday night against the Eagles. But with news breaking that both Jay Cutler and Eddie Goldman will only be missing a few games, might there be room in the hearts of Bears fans for the slightest bit of optimism?

Come on. You know you want to.

If there is such room, John Fox and Dowell Loggains can’t have a third straight howler. What can they do?

  • Get the ball out of Brian Hoyer’s hand quickly. The Bears have a signature weakness on the offensive side of the ball: pass protection on the edges. So of course the offense has consisted of almost EXCLUSIVELY dropping Jay Cutler into deep pockets and forcing an historically fragile quarterback to scramble around. There are two flat out moronic elements at play here.
    • The Bears spent the entirety of the 2015 season cultivating a short passing attack; utilizing the bubble screen as a de facto run game to keep downs and distances manageable. This attack may not have been the most exciting in league history but it led to their quarterback playing one of his most efficient and consistent seasons.
    • The Bears have three, three, THREE wide receivers who are tailor made to this kind of attack. Alshon Jeffery is monstrous. Eddie Royal displayed Monday night what he’s capable of in the open field. And Kevin White’s speed would make every reception a potential big gain.

  • Run the ball. And when you think you’ve run the ball too much, run it more. The strength of this offense is Sitton/Whitehair/Long and the Bears should funnel their entire rush game through those three men.
  • Use Jordan Howard. Jeremy Langford is going to have a good career in Chicago but the Bears need to do something different. Howard has displayed a burst and vision the other backs don’t seem to possess so why not see if the kid can be a bellwether back?
  • At halftime Sunday night, if certain things are not working or Rod Marinelli has approached the game in a way you didn’t anticipate, alter your goddamn plan. The Bears led the Texans at the half. The Bears were down 2 at the half against Philadelphia. In both of those second halves the team was thoroughly embarrassed. That’s coaching. And if these problems persist, somebody is going to lose his job.

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