Charges that the Chicago Bears offense is predictable have some validation.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers linebacker Lavonte David explained how Shaq Barrett’s pick-six came to following his team’s 27-17 victory in Week 2.
“Big play. They called a screen, it was the same formation. Everybody knew what was coming,” David said, via Greg Auman of Fox Sports on September 18. “[Barrett] just made a big play. Playmakers make plays, and his number was called and he made a play.”
Bucs’ Lavonte David: Bears Ran ‘Same Formation’
Luke Getsy’s Offense Under Fire
That interception was a backbreaker, putting Tamapa up by 10 points with just over two minutes to go. Fields would follow it with another on the ensuing drive – again on a screen, this time to Chase Claypool. The sequences led to some outright questioning of offensive coordinator Luke Getsy’s play-calling by former Bears running back Matt Forte.
Why throw another screen tho? pic.twitter.com/Ts4ru3ax7w
— Matt Forte (@MattForte22) September 17, 2023
The Bears lined up in the same formation three times in a row on that fateful possession.
Their first attempt was blown dead when Barrett jumped the snap too early, drawing an offsides penalty. It was as fortuitous as the final interception was disastrous. Fields, trying to avoid a sack and safety, heaved a pass in desperation out of the endzone. That ball found the hands of second-year cornerback Zyon McCollum but Barrett’s penalty negated the play.
On the second try, they switched tight end Cole Kmet’s direction of motion and flipped Claypool and fellow wide receiver DJ Moore only to have Claypool tagged for pass interference.
One week after being called out for his poor effort on blocks, the big-bodied pass catcher gets whistled for blocking too soon. He did have a bounce-back day, however, with three receptions for 36 yards and a touchdown.
And, of course, Barrett read the Bears’ third attempt to line up in the same formation – 11 personnel with two receivers high – to perfection, leading to the dagger score.
Bears Defense Allows Bucs Offense to Have Banner Day
The Bucs prepared for the Bears’ offense by having wide receiver Cephus Jones play the role of Fields in practice, according to defensive tackle Vita Vea via Auman. But it was wide receiver Mike Evans who made the biggest impact on the field on Sunday, notching six grabs for 171 yards with 117 of it coming after the catch.
Chicago’s defense has been picked apart so far and injuries are piling up.
Bears defense against the pass on 3rd/4th down:
– 20/23 (87%), 282 yards (12.3 Y/A), 3 TDs
– Eight 15+ yard receptions allowed
– 1.012 EPA/dropback allowed (32nd by about double lol)
– 157.3 passer rating allowed
— Brad Spielberger, Esq. (@PFF_Brad) September 18, 2023
The Bears were already without starting cornerback Kyler Gordon going into the game. They lost safety Eddie Jackson to a foot injury during it. Fellow safety Jaquan Brisker missed a chunk of time with what head coach Matt Eberflus said was dehydration. Chicago was without both of its starting guards on offense.
Through the Week 2 Sunday slate, the Bears have allowed the third-most total yards in the NFL, ranking 18th against the run and 27th against the pass.
They have also committed the sixth-most penalties putting a real strain on the H.I.T.S. principle Eberflus has tried to instill. A trip to noisy Arrowhead Stadium to face the defending champion Kansas City Chiefs is up next. It seems inevitable things get worse before they improve.
That is why they play the game, though.