Data Entry: Self-Scouting Chicago’s Play-Calling Tendencies

| November 7th, 2017

On to play-calling tendencies.

There have been many, many complaints voiced about Chicago’s offensive play-calling this year, especially since Mitchell Trubisky took over at quarterback. With that in mind, I’m going to look at trends by down and distance in those 4 games. All statistics come courtesy of the fantastic NFL play finder from Pro Football Reference.

1st down

This should surprise absolutely nobody, but the Bears have been comically imbalanced on 1st down since Mitchell Trubisky started playing. They’ve had 95 first downs and called runs on 68 of them, good for 72% of the time (if you look only at the 1st 3 quarters, when game situations don’t impact calls as much, those numbers change to 54 runs on 70 plays, running 77% of the time).

Despite the predictability, they’ve actually been fairly successful running on average, picking up 4.5 yards per attempt, though it’s worth noting that drops to 3.0 when you remove two Jordan Howard runs of 50+ yards. 12 of those runs (18%) have lost yardage, and 20 gained 1 yard or less (29%). This has left the Bears consistently behind the chains, a problem that we’ll see compound on 2nd and 3rd down.

On the rare occasions the Bears did pass, good things tended to happen. Between passes, sacks, and scrambles, the Bears averaged 7.8 yards per play on these 27 plays, though it’s worth noting that is also skewed in the positive direction by a few big plays. Still, 10 of these (37%) went for 8 yard gains or more, which puts the offense well ahead of the chains. Part of that success undoubtedly comes from catching defenses off guard, but it would be nice to see them gain a little more balance on 1st down to hopefully continue keeping defenses from honing in on the run too much.

2nd down

When it comes to 2nd down, context is needed. A 3 yard gain is great on 2nd and 2, pretty good on 2nd and 5, and awful on 2nd and 10. With that in mind, I split the data into 4 groups based on the distance required to get a 1st down. The table below shows the results.

Uggh, that is hideously ugly.

First, just look at the run/pass splits. The Bears are basically running if it’s 2nd and 10 or less and throwing if it’s 2nd and 11+. Given that predictability, it’s hardly surprising that the offense is being comically ineffective on 2nd down.

I really don’t have any more complicated analysis than that. The predictability on 2nd down is stifling the offense. There is no context when they get any sort of balance between the pass and run, which makes it too easy for defenses to figure out what’s coming. It should be noted that these are all small sample sizes, but overall it’s just ugly.

3rd and 4th down

I grouped 3rd and 4th down together because the 4th down sample size was too small to do on its own, and on both downs the objective is the same: pick up a 1st down. Because of that, I ignored yards per play, and just focused on how often they met that objective and moved the chains.

And you thought 2nd down was ugly.

Here’s the first thing to notice: look at how often the Bears end up in 3rd and long because of the poor play calling on 1st and 2nd down. They have had 3rd or 4th and short only 4 times in Trubisky’s 4 games, while more than 2/3 of their 3rd or 4th down plays have come needing 7 or more yards to pick up the first down.

That sets the offense up to fail, and it’s unsurprising to see that they have failed indeed. I actually want to highlight how (relatively) effective the offense has been in these difficult situations. They have picked up 11 1st downs on 35 3rd and long plays, a 31% clip that would actually not rank last in the NFL for 3rd down conversions including all plays.

Of course, the Bears have been hideously ineffective on 3rd and short or medium situations, picking up only 6 1st downs on those 17 plays (35%). There should be a much bigger difference in efficiency between those two groupings. Once again, it’s worth noting that these are small sample sizes, and it might spread out over time as we get more data.

Once again, you can look at imbalance in play calling, though it’s a bit more understandable here given that you generally need to throw to pick up a 1st down if you need more than 3 or 4 yards. Still, it would be nice to see the Bears run a little more often (perhaps out of shotgun after spreading the defense out) on 3rd and 3-4. Right now, teams basically know that a pass is coming on 3rd down unless Chicago miraculously gets into 3rd and short or decides to run a draw and punt.

Thus it’s unsurprising that teams are ready for it when the Bears do pass on 3rd down, making it difficult to do so successfully. Trubisky has either been sacked (16%) or forced to scramble (18%) on more than 1/3 of his 3rd down dropbacks, and his completion percentage when he does throw on 3rd down is only 50%. You can’t consistently put any offense in 3rd and long and expect success, much less an offense with a rookie quarterback and poor collection of pass targets.

Lessons learned

Chicago’s offense is agonizingly predictable, rendering it comically ineffective. I don’t think this comes as a revelation to anybody, but I think it’s useful to see the numbers match what our eyes have told us. Out of the 9 data sets I highlighted above, there is only one where the Bears do not either run or pass at least 70% of the time. That comes on 3rd and 1-2 yards to go, which is a nice 50/50 split with a tiny sample size of 4. So for any situation except 3rd and short, opposing defenses know what the Bears are going to do at least 70% of the time, and that’s before you look at the predictability based on personnel groupings and how they line up.

What’s more, I’m fairly confident when I say that this predictability is coming directly from John Fox rather than offensive coordinator Dowell Loggains. I say that because it was not an issue last year when I did the same breakdowns of Loggains’ play calling. Despite a MASH unit of offensive linemen, 3 different quarterbacks, and a rotating cast of (mostly inept) wide receivers, he maintained a decent balance in most situations and kept an offense performing above its talent level.

Chicago’s current offensive approach is simply not a valid one. John Fox either needs to let Dowell Loggains go to work or Ryan Pace needs to tell Fox to pack his bags.

Tagged: , , , ,

  • Irish Sweetness

    Bears 13-10 Packers. Soldier Field next week. Just like the old days.

    McCarthy blitzes the line all day long. Whether it’s a run or whether it’s the kid. All day long.

    • leftcoastdave

      27-12. We hold the Pack to four field goals.

    • DaCoaches Mustache

      I don’t see how the packers score next week. Hundley is a huge piece of shit.

      • willbest

        strip sack? ST F up.

      • SC Dave

        The Bears have (well, hopefully HAD) a penchant for making practice squad guys look like All-Pros, so there is that.

      • Irish Sweetness

        Fumble return.

  • Bear Instincts

    1.This article has confirmed what I have been arguing for most of the season (this predictability is coming directly from John Fox rather than offensive coordinator Dowell Loggains)
    2. His coaching philosophy has lead to this predictability and disqualifies him from being able to groom MT10 in the QB of the future
    With that being said when are we going to start analyzing replacement options for Fox?

    • DaBearsBlog

      Well he’s about to go 7-9 or 8-8 and keep his job. So next year maybe?

      • SC Dave

        Low bar, Jeff. Let’s shoot for 10-6, eh? Dreamers gotta dream.

        But we’ll blow at least one game we should win (in Detroit, perhaps?) and we ain’t beating Philly. On the other hand, we weren’t beating Pittsburgh either.

      • Bear Instincts

        What is the argument for keeping his job after going 7-9 or 8-8?

        • Scharfinator

          They were 3-13 last year. If you manage to net 31% more wins, it’s unlikely you’ll get canned.

          • Bear Instincts

            Chicago football is changing. It’s no longer about the run game and a great defense. Fox was the coach for the Bears in 1987. It is 2017 and the path to multiple championships is only possible because of a competent QB/Offense.

            Denver has a great defense but a QB carousel. A 2nd year QB just dismantled them. Fox is not the man to groom MT10 into the QB that will lead the Bears to the promised land. He never was.

            If he is not getting an extension at the end of the season why give him a trial year?
            What can he prove in 1 year that will justify him getting an extension that he cant do right now?

          • Scharfinator

            I don’t disagree with you. I’m just saying that the reality typically mimics what I said.

          • SC Dave

            Funny, looks to like it’s getting back to tradition – tough defense and a solid running game.

          • Bear Instincts

            I love out bully defense and smash mouth run game that makes other teams cry. however i recognize and acknowledge that we need more than that to win. just look at Seattle. we could be them.

          • Irish Sweetness

            A smash-mouth run game doesn’t mean running it 70%-80% of the time though.
            That’s silly football, and I think we can all agree on that.

          • Irish Sweetness

            And Jake Delhomme …?

          • CanadaBear

            Lovie got canned at 10-6. If the GM wants you gone …

            I’m guessing you’re correct that Foxy stays with a few more wins.

          • Bear Instincts

            Foxy stays if Pace decides:
            1.that he himself is to blame for not providing enough weapons to win
            2.he likes what he has seen from Fox (culture change+defense) and wants continuity
            3.the team is close to winning and only needs this draft & FA to get over the hump and be a force to be reckoned with

          • Irish Sweetness

            Lovie. 10-6. Gone.

          • Scharfinator

            Different situation – everyone knew Lovie was stale.

        • SC Dave

          His team does not quit. He built that.

          Once his raw rookie QB grows up, I think he deserves one last shot (2018) at a ring.

          • willbest

            I will grant Fox that. His team didn’t quit. But that doesn’t necessarily mean you can win it all.

          • SC Dave

            I don’t disagree, but there is still half a season left. I’ll withhold my judgment until then.

          • Bear Instincts

            Pro: he installed a culture. he rebuilt the defense to possible be a contender in 3 yrs. he started from nothing and now has them looking like a professional football team

            Con: MT10 development. the offense is predictable and lacking. in game decisions are mind-boggling

            Just look at the Cheese and Rodgers. Look at what a QB can do for your team. how many playoffs and championships have they been to because of Rodgers?

            How many playoffs and championships have we been to because of our run game and great defense?

            The development of MT10 takes precedence over everything thing else.

          • SC Dave

            The 2006 Bears went to the Super Bowl without a great QB.

            The 2010 Bears made the NFC Championship game without a great QB.

            While both those teams had good RBs (particularly 2010), neither was as good as Jordan Howard. Of course, 2006 did have an insane Devin Hester which is something we don’t have.

            MT is not Aaron Rodgers, and won’t be. Shit, no one is like that guy.

          • madscout12

            And both the ’06 and ’10 Bears were not in the playoffs the following year.

          • SC Dave

            The point being?

          • Bear Instincts

            2006 Bears go 13n3 – lose SB to Colts while Packers go 8n8
            2006 Bears go 13n3 – lose SB to Colts while Packers go 8n8
            2006 Bears go 13n3 – lose SB to Colts while Packers go 8n8
            2006 Bears go 13n3 – lose SB to Colts while Packers go 8n8
            2006 Bears go 13n3 – lose SB to Colts while Packers go 8n8
            2006 Bears go 13n3 – lose SB to Colts while Packers go 8n8
            2006 Bears go 13n3 – lose SB to Colts while Packers go 8n8

            2006 Bears go 13n3 – lose SB to Colts while Packers go 8n8

          • SC Dave

            Are you claiming that the Bears had a “great run game and defense” all 11 of those years? Your comparison is useless if unless you contend that.

          • Sure looked like the quit last yr.

          • CanadaBear

            I thought more like uninspired. Come out flat, get behind, a couple of TO’s, deja vu, game over. Under Nessman they definitely quit. Under Foxy, not really quit but close to sleep walking. I guess I’m splitting hairs but I’m trying to be fair to Foxy (still would like to see a change).

      • leftcoastdave

        You keep forgetting that I told you before the start of the season that the floor is 9-7. That is baked in because of dominance in the trenches.

        O ye of little faith.

        • Bear Instincts

          The o-line is hurt. MT10 is a rookie making rookie mistakes. No WR’s. Fox has final say over the offense as the performance has shown. 9-7 is the the goal for the season.
          They have the potential to sneak into the playoffs as a wildcard team but the offense will drag them down

      • Tortured Bear fan

        in the long run for QB’s development sake, it is necessary cut Foxy

        • SC Dave

          The unspoken assumption of all this is that you get someone better.

          • Tortured Bear fan

            Or keeping as it is right now, going nowhere.

          • SC Dave

            Patience, grasshopper.

          • Irish Sweetness

            Chucky can do it.

    • SC Dave

      Data said he’s “fairly confident”, which I would not read as a confirmation.

      But whatever.

      • Yeah, I have absolutely no smoking gun proof of that. I’m just saying it doesn’t match Loggains’ tendencies from last year.

        The confirmation from this article is that the offense is incredibly predictable (which matches the eye test). Anything beyond that is just speculation, even if it is semi-educated.

  • It’s all part of the plan

    This made me laugh and shake my head at the same time:

    Official Stories of the NFL this week:

    Mike McCarthy: I believe in Brett Hundley
    Matthew Stafford, Marvin Jones lead Lions to 30-17 win over Packers
    Ben McAdoo: Eli Manning is our quarterback
    Josh Gordon admits using drugs or alcohol “probably every game”
    John Harbaugh has “no doubt” offense can be very successful
    49ers sticking with same QB plan this week
    Martavis Bryant back to working with starters in Steelers practice
    Papa John’s to Nazis: Don’t buy our pizza

    • SC Dave

      The world grows more and more bizarre, eh?

      • It’s all part of the plan

        The part that made me snort iced coffee was the Nazi article just sitting there. That’s where we are now.
        Packers qb troubles
        NY coaching hot seat
        49ers easing Jimmy G into the offense
        Papa John’s to Nazi’s: Don’t eat our pizza

        • willbest

          Apparently, when you say “don’t protest the flag” which sounds like something a nazi might say, you have to follow it up with “don’t be a nazi”. Because we aren’t allowed to examine your comments rationally, and unless you tell us you don’t support nazism we wouldn’t know.

          It works the other way too. For example, Google is installing a big brother type infrastructure and designing an AI to run it all but their motto is “Don’t be evil”, so we have no choice but to assume they aren’t evil.

          • It’s all part of the plan

            I just thought it was funny that’s all.

    • Cockney Kirk

      Hundley holds the ball WAY WAY too long
      He doesn’t see the play develop
      He often misses his checkdown guy when he gets seperation
      He is hesitant because he doesn’t know his wideouts that well
      He loves to pull that ball down and plays like he’s still at UCLA.

    • Are u not entertained!?

  • Cockney Kirk


    To keep them quiet he used the Mossad
    A tactic in Hollywood not so odd
    pushing up skirts and squuezin the tits
    just keep pumpin out the hits
    Big Bad Harvey the stereotype jew
    down with the libs and his PI krew
    loved to eat clam no matter how raw
    the rest of the world wants to remove his jaw

    • It’s all part of the plan

      That’s one hardcore dude.

    • Irish Sweetness

      Mossad. Operating with carte blanche from America since Day One. And Harvey uses them. Go figure.

    • Cormonster

      Spacey checked into the same rehab as Weinstein. They should put them in the same room and do a reality show Odd Couple. Weinstein can play the slob Oscar and rape young chicks, while Spacey plays the neat Felix who rapes young boys.

      The first couple episodes can be remakes. There’s the one where important company is coming over, and Felix has to sneak a young 14 year old boy out of his room.

      The next one is where Kevin knocks Harvey’s favorite potted plant off the balcony and he has to hurry and find an exact replica before Harvey gets home. Maybe Weiner can make a guest appearance in a later episode.

  • Cockney Kirk


    paradise papers showed nike hides taxes
    keeps its books clean like it waxes
    transfers the swoosh to a CV ethereal
    charges itself fees immaterial
    selling the IP to ghosts in the shell
    slave labor sews jerseys in places like hell
    cant even produce a quality product
    nba jerseys tear like kleenex construct
    the millions and millions live with the swiss
    and the nike lawyers and accountants take the piss

    • It’s all part of the plan

      One of your best, I’m imagining a Beastie Boys feel to it

      Juat shut up, shut up
      …You had me at Kleenex construct. You had me at Kleenex construct.

  • AlbertInTucson

    DaBearsBlog @dabearsblog
    “I will take a Super Bowl win and am willing to be awful for 5 years after that.”

    Easy choice because, as Bear Fans, we are already USED TO dealing with 5 years of awful.

    Or more.

    • willbest

      As a first instinct, most people negotiate things they don’t really care about in exchange for things they do.

      • AlbertInTucson

        “I’ll give you 3 Marv Throneberrys for that Mickey Mantle rookie card.”

        • CanadaBear

          I’ll even throw in about a dozen Pumpsie Green’s. I used to get at least one of him in every pack.

    • Honestly, this is the first stretch of awful in my time as a serious fan (dates back to roughly 2003. I’ve always been a “Bears fan,” but was never that into football until I started playing Madden in high school and learned to appreciate the strategy aspect of the game. Even then, I never lived in Chicago until 2006, so I couldn’t see the Bears much).

      2014-2016 were awful years. For the decade prior, they ranged from mediocre to good, sometimes bordering on great.

      You have to go back to the pre-Lovie years to find a long stretch of suck before the current one (which we thankfully seem to be coming out of).

      • DaCoaches Mustache

        The coach picture with the mustache along with your detailed analysis makes you seem older. I forget you are just a pup. You missed a lot of shitty Bearness my friend.

      • Irish Sweetness

        Post Urlacher was a worse time (for me). Seeing the defense being manned by women was hard to take.

    • Barbara

      Google is paying 97$ per hour,with weekly payouts.You can also avail this.
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    • Tammy

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      On tuesday I got a brand new Land Rover Range Rover from having earned $11752 this last four weeks..with-out any doubt it’s the most-comfortable job I have ever done .. It Sounds unbelievable but you wont forgive yourself if you don’t check it
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  • leftcoastdave

    Pace has fundamentally changed this team and it will only get better. Data points out the obvious which is the result of having a potentially great rookie QB under center looking out at things he never saw before in the form of top level athletes trained and coached to stop whatever he might want to throw at them. Thus the logic of grinding with your strength while opening up the offensive playbook incrementally. Next week should provide a big opportunity to open up the O and we will see what Fox does with that opportunity.

    • SC Dave

      This. So this.

      Last week the playbook was more “open” than before. And I expect that to continue week by week.

      And as someone pointed out, the defenses we’ve played the past three weeks are pretty good. Even, shockingly enough, the Saints.

      • Bear Instincts

        If we make it to the playoffs do you see us beating the Saints or the Eagles? I will answer for you “NO” regardless of how you open up the playbook. The overall coaching philosophy is conservative and out of touch with the modern NFL. Our strength is not enough to beat well balanced teams or teams with great passing attacks.

        • SC Dave

          Bullshit. We beat Pittsburgh, and don’t be surprised to see them in the Super Bowl this year.

          • CanadaBear

            Looking back on the first half; two biggest surprises were beating Pitt and getting smoked by TB.

  • Cockney Kirk
    • willbest

      Its not tanking if you try your best and still get pasted. Thus I can only presume that they means they should leave Rodgers on IR and finish the season 4-12

      • AlbertInTucson

        By time mid-December gets here, the concept of re-activating Rodgers should be a moot point.

    • CanadaBear

      They won’t lay down and have a legit shot to win next week. I’d like to think the Beloved will smoke ’em next week but just when you think they have turned a corner …

    • SC Dave

      Typical silly fan drivel.

  • Cockney Kirk


    Nazis love papa john
    aliies fall for the con
    his pizza may taste like stale dough
    but the culture war done need its foe
    papa says please please no
    pasty doughboys have got to go
    aint seen shit like this since the klan
    just hope Trump dont bomb us Iran

  • Cockney Kirk

    Waffle – I got cold feet and missed out on at least another quarter mil


    I am sticking pins into my hands today as punishment for being a coward.

    • It’s all part of the plan

      You did the right thing. You had rationale about why a peak was coming. It could have easily dropped off the table. I saw a Disqus add with a picture of a busty model that said Bitcoin was going to 25,000 so there’s that.

      • Sactowns#1

        Is that bubble ever going to burst? Jeesh.

  • AlbertInTucson


    I see the Packers coming to town this week with Brett Hundley at QB and all this old Bear fan can think of is “Don Horn”.

    • BerwynBomber

      Explain please …

      • madscout12
        • AlbertInTucson


          Last game of the season. Bears were 7-6 and in a position to win the Central despite having lost Gale Sayers in week 8.

          Packers came in at 5-7-1.

          Bart Starr isn’t even dressed for the game

          Zeke Bratkowski starts. Goes 1 for 2 with a TD but is shaken up early.

          2nd yr QB, Don Horn, making his only appearance of the season, replaces Bratkowski and goes 10-16 with 2 TDs and no INTs to lead the Packers to a 28-27 win.

          Horn’s rating for the game was 142.

          His career rating is 55.

          Career completions: 49%.


          • BerwynBomber

            And it seemed like in the 80s and 90s there were a few games when some previously no-name GB RB would rush for 150 against us.

            Want to say that was the case with Edgar Bennett and Dorsey Levens (or maybe it was Ryan Grant or Ahmad Green.)

          • AlbertInTucson

            Leven and Green were effective backs.

            Edgar Bennett, though…SMH.

            His ONLY 100 yard games came against, guess who?

            The Bears.

            The Bears acquired him and he never saw a 100 yard game again.

    • SC Dave

      Or some no-name-WR-turned-RB gashes us in two games for a total of 222 yards on 25 carries.

    • CanadaBear

      You Bastard!

      • AlbertInTucson

        Admit it. The thought crossed YOUR mind, too.

    • WP4Life

      I’m thinking:

      1980 Sunday, December 7 Chicago Bears 61–7 Green Bay Packers.

      This was one of my first games.

      • Cormonster

        That was a great game. At a family xmas party that year, my Dad and Uncle got my Grandpa and a different uncle (Packers fans) green shirts with big yellow numbers 61-7 on the front. Still got pictures of that. They were good sports about it and laughed and put them on.

  • Bear Instincts
    • I like the splits of shotgun/under center there. Gonna have to ask where he found those. Looking at 2nd and 3rd down splits with no distance context is fairly meaningless, IMO.

      They’re basically ignoring the shotgun run, though, which has been a huge complaint of mine all year.

      • Bear Instincts

        I saw that chucked it up to him trying to support his argument that Fox needs to go. Took it with a grain of salt. Overall it gets the point across.

        My argument to get rid of Fox is simple: Past Behavior is the Best Predictor of Future Behavior. He does not trust rookie players in general especially the QB. he is not the man to get us to the promised land. Denver had it all and he still fell short.

        • SC Dave

          Denver did not have it all. Manning was a shell of his former self.

  • BerwynBomber

    I stopped reading once I read that we run 77% of the first down and pick up 4.5 yards a clip.

    Yes, Fox is highly conservative. Yes, the play-calling is conservative. But we also have a completely green rookie QB and have faced three of the tougher D’s in the league in recent weeks.

    And we also have one of the best primary rushers in the entire league

    Much Ado … re: the playcalling debate.

    • madscout12

      So you missed this in the very next phrase:

      though it’s worth noting that drops to 3.0 when you remove two Jordan Howard runs of 50+ yards. 12 of those runs (18%) have lost yardage, and 20 gained 1 yard or less (29%). This has left the Bears consistently behind the chains, a problem that we’ll see compound on 2nd and 3rd down.

      • to be fair, half of Trubisky’s 1st down throws are incompletions, so lots of nothing plays there too.

        My bigger issue is with the predictability on 2nd down. Their offense is atrocious on 2nd down because defenses know exactly what’s coming.

      • BerwynBomber

        No, I saw that.

        But I’m not a huge fan of discarding big plays when considering YPC averages.

        • It’s all part of the plan

          Bomber, then keep the big runs in there and know that 47% of the runs have gained 1yard or less.

          • BerwynBomber

            Doesn’t matter. We are talking “averages” and just because the 50+ yarders don’t jibe with a narrative they are still counted.

            There is a reason coaches harp like hell about not allowing big plays. And one could argue Howard doesn’t pop those 50 yarders without those 1 yarders.

            I’d get the playcalling complaint more even if we still had Cutty. But we have a rookie who had one year of major college ball under his belt as well as a second year RB who is probably headed toward his second consecutive Pro Bowl. Pounding Howard makes complete sense if we’re trying to win games.

            Plus, none of us have any idea what Bisky is capable of retaining or executing this early in his career.

            My suspicion is the playbook opens up as Bisky matures and the defenses we face become softer. In fact, the coming Sunday might be a start.

          • SC Dave

            Last week was a start. I wrote a post about all the first down plays.

          • WP4Life

            could argue Howard doesn’t pop those 50 yarders without those 1 yarders –
            100 % Agree

          • Dis Guy Trublinsky

            Take away all big plays and every back’s average sucks. That’s how it works.

            Same with the D. “Take away the two interceptions and the D wasn’t that good.”


            Big plays are hard to come by, and they change games. That’s why GMs try to draft or sign “playmakers”.

        • Irish Sweetness

          If you want to see what the overall effectiveness is then you have to remove outliers. It’s more representative of what we do.

          • SC Dave

            That’s like saying a QB’s interceptions don’t count because they are “outliers”..

  • BerwynBomber
    • BearDown100393

      Do it

  • Bear Instincts

    2006 Bears go 13n3 – lose SB to Colts while Packers go 8n8
    2007 Bears go 7n9 – Packers Lost Conference Championship (Giants)
    2008 Bears go 9n7 – Packers go 6n10
    2009 Bears go 7n9 – Packers Lost Wild Card Playoffs (Cardinals)
    2010 Bears go 11n5 – Packers Won Super Bowl XLV (Steelers)
    2011 Bears go 8n8 – Packers Lost Divisional Playoffs (Giants)
    2012 Bears go 10n6 – Packers Lost Divisional Playoffs (49ers)
    2013 Bears go 8n8 – Packers Lost Wild Card Playoffs (49ers)
    2014 Bears go 5n11 – Packers Lost Conference Championship (Seahawks)
    2015 Bears go 6n10 -Packers Lost Divisional Playoffs (Cardinals)
    2016 Bears go 3n13 – Packers Lost Conference Championship

    My argument for a modern offense that Fox will not be able to bring to Chicago. This is the value of a QB and a modern offense. A great defense and run game will only get you so far.

    • BerwynBomber

      I don’t know if Rodgers (or Brady) is the best example of the “value of a QB” unless you think realistically that will be Bisky’s comp.

      Otherwise, better off comparing Bisky to someone like Cam or Ryan — top half of the league guys who require decent amount of support around them.

      And as GOAT-y as Brady is he still has one matchless partner with him every Sunday in the hooded troll standing on the NE sidelines.

      Rodgers is a freak. The closest to a true, successful one-man band in the league. Capable of even hauling a crap D and rushing attack into the playoffs. Or for that matter scripted playcalling.

    • leftcoastdave

      “Fox will not be able to bring to Chicago.”

      Such certitude is reserved for the young.

    • Irish Sweetness

      “A great defense and run game will only get you so far.”

      It will get you a super bowl. That’s far enough for me. Go back and ask Dan Marino about a passing game.

  • CanadaBear

    Nice article. Check out the guy in the purple circle. He got Eddied!!!!!!!! Love this!


    • Great breakdown.

      And I’m always amazed at top level DEs.

      RT Daryl Williams is 6’5 335
      TE Dickson is 6’4 250

      How BOTH try to move Hicks, and can’t, is like some Hulk shit.

      Goldman immediately recognizes and sheds his fat bastard.

      Tre and Floyd make sure Cam can’t escape.

      No 1st. TO on down. Game. Blouses.

      I love Goldman-Hicks combo. For my $, best 1-2 punch in the league.

      have to come up with a nickname – like Thor and Hulk!

      • CanadaBear

        Looking at that guard doing the drunk stumble is awesome. Glad Eddie shed some weight. Bet he is too. Still a grown man! Hicks is just a behemoth. He is WWF size.

  • On, an FF note…nooooooo

    My undefeated season has ended. Damn you Bears 505! That being said, it took a perfect storm of shit on my roster.

    Had to roll with McCown since my Palmer went down.
    Had to bench Benji since he got traded and didn’t even suit up, so, ugh, Cooper Kupp time
    Bell and Howard on bye.
    And for good measure Ertz (the #1TE) decided not to play.

    Hats off to Bears 505 though. He had David Johnson and ODB and still is 6-3. Goes to show, can still grind out a season even with INJs.

    and Waffle came oooooooh so close to upsetting Ender – Again!

    But apparently 6’3 250 fat lesbos can’t lean forward for a yd/td.

    thems are the fat lesbo breaks (NTTAWWT).

    That is all. Carry on…

    • Sactowns#1

      And I roll to yet another W. Think I’m playing Ender this weekend and he’s looking like he’s catching fire. Fingers crossed ladies!

      • That was a big win over Shady. He’s always a tough beat cuz, well, he be Shady.

        Ender has to be one of the best 2 win teams across FF, so that’ll be a tough match.

        And don’t look now, but Willie trying to sneak in on a 2nd half run.

  • leftcoastdave

    All of the talk about predictability causes me to chuckle as play calling is so dependent upon the situation, ie., the score, field position and not the least your available personnel. There were only two games where da Bears were blown out, the early game in the swamp where our bigs were gassed early and the Rogers nightmare. Other than that, we’ve been in every game. That said, Fox gave Mitchell more opportunity to throw when points were needed and the result of 3-5 at the midpoint of the season is beyond the most wild predictions of success, given the schedule.

    Now da Bears are “predictable.” Predictable means they have tendencies. D’s anticipate based upon tendencies.

    Mitchell is now better learned up just as we have two conference opponents in sight and in need of these two wins to stay alive for the playoffs.

    Would it surprise if Fox now used his established “tendencies” against teams the rest of the season as needed?

    • CanadaBear

      Considering it’s Foxy, yeah that would surprise me.

      • BearDown100393

        Hobo checked out

    • Tendencies are one thing. But a lot of REAL OC/HCs use them to set up opponents.

      Bears never do that. You’d figure with all the runs on 1st and 2nd, there’d be more PAs. But, NOPE.

      Here’s one example.

      Chiefs ran a jet sweep. First time they handed it off to the streaking Hill. Got like 2-3 yds.
      2nd time Smith kept it the shovel passed it to the HB (the LB obviously bit on Hill that play). Went in for an easy TD.

      That’s how you set up teams.
      The Bears lack that creativity.

      And running read-option is not rocket science.

      It’s not a 7 step drop post-corner where the QB has to read the safeties, shed the pressure, and drop a dime.

      The read-option is so prevalent in college for a reason. It’s EASY!

      A QB doesn’t need 3 yrs to perfect it.

      Trub can run some of that on crucial downs. As long as he slides, I’m cool with that.

      (see Cowboys/SeaHawks)

      Fox/Birdcage has to be more creative. PERIOD.

      3rd and 6+ is NOT sustainable and it does NOT help Trub evolve.

      That being said, I’m at least a lil excited at Inman on board.

      Inman, McBride, Wright doesn’t seem turrible. Maybe they finally incorporate Sasheen out of necessity.

      Also, Birdcage did open up the playbook (read with Cohen at goaline – designed draw – some downfield throws) a smidgen, so let’s hope they use the bye to get it all clicking.

      • madscout12

        They ran the read option with Cutler….CUTLER. And they did it to give him a way to easily move the sticks while keeping his turnovers down. Inexcusable for it not to be a part of the offense with Bisky in the second half. I sort of can understand it not being there in the first, because he was running the Glennon O, and you wouldn’t dream of running the RO with that slow poke. But it better be done in the 2nd half.

        • I see the foreskins freaking running it with Cousins. Cousins!

          Fuck, I think even McCown runs it a lil on the Jets.

          Like you say, no excuse. NONE.

          It’s not complicated.
          Trub is not weak, old or slow.
          We have a good Oline and run game to sell it.

          They ran it with Cohen at the goaline, and guess what, it worked!

          Just drill it into Trubs head to slide, and should be lethal or at least make the D prepare for something else besides handoff – handoff – pass.

          • leftcoastdave

            Yup. I think we all expect to be seeing that going forward.

            Crawl. Walk. Run.

            Mitchell can now walk with four games seen from the cat bird seat. Now let’s see him take off and fly.

          • Irish Sweetness

            He just needs to grow some balls and audible. Unless you audible you’re not really doing your job.

      • This should be a shotgun-based offense where a simple run-pass option is a staple play. Gives the defenses something extra to worry about and makes it easier for both Trubisky and the running game to be less predictable.

        • I don’t know if shotgun should be the base O.

          Mostly because Howard is our best weapon, and I think the shotgun O takes him out of it. Like with Forte, Howard takes like 3 yds to get going. He’s not a stop-start HB like Cohen, Bell or Hunt.

          That being said, I wouldn’t mind some of that shot-gun O sprinkled in (perhaps with Cohen). Trub ran that type of O at NC, and it simplifies the reads and forces Ds to prepare for another wrinkle.

          I know Birdcage can run it because he did some of that up-tempo stuff with Barkley last yr during 2 min drill or to jump start a stagnate O.

          Again, no reason Bears can’t incorporate that, but – well – Fox.

          • Howard runs well out of shotgun. At least he did last year.

        • Irish Sweetness

          Play-action doesn’t work off shotgun. Nobody will buy that. Not that we’re doing the play-action anyway …

          • BerwynBomber

            What are you talking about?

            RPO is primarily run off shotgun.

        • SC Dave

          You have to snap the ball reliably to be a shotgun offense.

    • The two games where the Bears were blown out had everything to do with the QB turning it over on the first several possessions of both games and very little to do with the performance of anybody else on the roster.

      • leftcoastdave

        Yes, but I do not think that contradicts the point I made. Fox has been conservative, to be sure. And wisely so, given what he is working with. He has gone to his strengths while working to develop Mitchell into an NFL quarterback. He certainly was not “game ready” and needed time just taking snaps and handing the ball off while watching how the D gamed him and the O. Anybody expecting better than 3-5 against this competition or a more sophisticated playbook during the first half of the season doesn’t know football.

        • I’m not asking for a super sophisticated playbook. I’m asking for a playbook that doesn’t completely suck. Just do a bit more to keep the defense off balance. Run out of shotgun. Don’t make run/pass splits so damn obvious based on personnel and/or down and distance. Give your QB some simple read-option and run-pass option plays.

          All things that aren’t crazy complicated but make a defense’s job harder.

          • Couldn’t agree more.

            This cuck playbook has Hobo Fox written all over it.

            They were 1,000x more creative even with Barkley.

          • Dis Guy Trublinsky

            Wasn’t he the coach then as well?

            Maybe the kid really just isn’t ready. It’s not like they didn’t tell us that.

          • Not ready for read-option?

            A freshman making his first college start is ready for read-option.

            If Trub is too stupid to run read-option, we got the wrong QB.

            It isn’t the Martz brainfuck or Gruden’s WCO spider Y banana shit.

            And he ran a shot-gun O at NC.

            If anything, he should be MORE prepared for that (and again, that O simplifies the reads, something all QBs but esp Trub struggles with).

            I would love to hear their rationale as to why they don’t use either more frequently.

          • Dis Guy Trublinsky

            No. I was referring to your last sentence. “They were 1000x more creative even with Barkley.”

          • Dis Guy Trublinsky

            And for what it’s worth, I’m all for letting him learn as we go this year. Whatever gets him closer to a polished, professional QB is fine by me.

    • BerwynBomber

      I’m with you .. mostly.

      But I think Butch (and others) have a valid point when it comes to RPO. Bisky seems tailor-made for it. Why we’re not running it I have no idea.

      In fact, I was next to shocked the Cheese didn’t run it near exclusively with Hundley in the line-up. But I don’t believe I saw it once last night while DET was throttling them.

      Maybe guys like Loggains and McCarthy don’t believe in it. Only thing I can figure.

      • The thing is that Gase DID run read with Cutler here and there. And it was pretty effective, so it’s not as if it’s completely alien to his underling Birdcage.

        In some ways, I can understand McCarthy. Hundley’s been ingesting the system for like 2 yrs. He SHOULD be able to run their system. The fact that he can’t reveals how horrible he really is, and Grimace probably doesn’t want to admit he was wrong and those two yrs were essentially wasted (that’s why he got so pissed when a reporter brought up Kap).

        If he’s stubborn, he’ll keep trying to make Hundley into Vadgers.

        But I expect eventually he’ll throw in the towel and run some read.

        Maybe even this week against the Bears. Hope Fangio is ready for it.

        • BerwynBomber

          Let’s hope they don’t. That is the only way I could see their O being average/effective with Hundley at the helm. Have the kid run a dozen times a game.
          One of the drawbacks to RPO is exposing the QB to injury. With someone like Rodgers such a scheme would be counter-productive (on a few different levels) and arguably a fire-able offense.
          But Bisky is young and sturdy so it shouldn’t be a huge concern this early in his career. And yes with his legs he would be a true running threat.

          • Dis Guy Trublinsky

            Hundley on the run……. Between Floyd, Amos and the way Fuller is hitting suddenly, that won’t go well.

  • willbest


    Yes the NFL desperately needs Goff-Wentz to become the next Brady-Manning.

  • willbest
    • Pulling a Rose?

      • CanadaBear

        From what I’ve read he made it worse trying to play through it without surgery. Not very Rose-like.

    • AlbertInTucson

      Irsay is a KNOWN idiot-owner.

      Let’s tear YOUR labrum, Mr. Irsay, and THEN see how you feel about it.

      • “Modestly” Huge Bears Penis

        he would love it. prescribed painkillers, he would be in heaven.

  • willbest

    Sam Bradford going to the IR with Teddy B becoming the #2? Minnesota getting it done with JAGs

    • Here’s a mental exercise.

      If Sanchez started the whole yr, do we have 2 extra wins?


      • willbest

        I am convinced we are 6-2 with McCown under center.

        • AlbertInTucson

          I think that is a distinct possibility.

      • EnderWiggin

        Yes, easily.

      • BerwynBomber

        Baffles me that Glennon is still ahead of the Chize on the depth chart.

        I swear if Bisky were to go down even for a game and I had to watch another sixty minutes of Glennon I’d be livid.

    • AlbertInTucson

      Is it official? I know they activated Tedy but I thought they were still mulling over Bradford’s status?

      • willbest

        That was the second part of the rumor, they are still mulling it as far as I know.

    • Irish Sweetness

      I’d like to get them in the playoffs, Will. Take their homefield advantage and stick right up their ass. Beat the brakes off them indoors.

      • Dis Guy Trublinsky

        Gonna be tough to do. Unlikely the NFCN is producing a WC team this year.

    • BerwynBomber

      I wouldn’t call Keenum a JAG. He’s arguably the best backup in the league and a good spot starter.

      Glennon’s a JAG. If that …

  • AlbertInTucson
    • Dis Guy Trublinsky

      That. Sucks.

      By all accounts a good guy.

      • AlbertInTucson

        JUST got his pilot’s license.

        Celebrities need to AVOID small aircraft.

        Such as..

        Buddy Holly
        Richie Valens
        The Big Bopper
        Patsy Cline
        Ken Hubbs
        Kim Reeves
        Jim Croce
        Stevie Ray Vaughn
        Rocky Marciano
        Otis Redding
        Glenn Miller
        Audie Murphy
        Lynyrd Skynyrd Band

        • CanadaBear

          I just read that King Curtis was murdered on the stoop of his bldg. He was trying to bring in an air conditioner and two drug dealers with arguing on the stoop. He told them to beat it and one of them killed him. 37 years old. Senseless.

        • John Denver, Jenny Rivera…

          • BerwynBomber

            JFK Jr
            Paine Stewart

        • Irish Sweetness

          Audie Murphy jumps off that list.

          “In his last few years, he was plagued by money problems but refused
          offers to appear in alcohol and cigarette commercials because he did not
          want to set a bad example”

          • AlbertInTucson

            He was credited with 240 kills.

            His Medal of Honor action in the film, TO HELL AND BACK, takes about 10 minutes.

            In actuality, he held off a German assault, including 6 tanks, for about 2 hours.

            Not surprisingly, he was plagued by PTSD.

            Slept with a loaded pistol.

            About his acting career: “I have a severe handicap. No talent.”

            He’s actually pretty good in several films. I especially liked him in DESTRY and
            NIGHT PASSAGE with Jimmy Stewart.

            The only grave at Arlington that gets more visitors is JFK’s.

        • It’s all part of the plan

          Uh and also Harrison Ford….so the rest of us can stay safe.

          • AlbertInTucson

            The last crash of his wasn’t even his first.

          • All those movie stunts prepared his body.

  • Irish Sweetness

    Comical indeed.

    When we need a yard or two .. we’re a balanced offense … when you need to be running the 70%+ shit.

    The rest of the time we’re telegraphing our intentions on first and second down. That’s just criminally bad management, top down. That’s designed failure.

  • willbest

    “On their first full day of jury deliberations at the bribery trial of Senator Robert Menendez (ed. Democrat), a juror asked the judge a basic question: What is a senator?”


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      I fucking love how you use the English language. Sexy.

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