Early in the Chicago Bears’ eventual 27-17 loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, former running back Matt Forte posted an explanation, teetering on support for offensive coordinator Luke Getsy’s play-calling. By the end of the game, though, Forte’s messaging had turned to questioning.
“Y’all know what 3rd down quick screens mean?…… no trust in the O-Line,” exclaimed Forte in a post on September 17. “Rightfully so I guess with the sacks given up today already.”
Ex-Bears RB Questions OC’s Play-Calling in Week 2 Loss vs. Buccaneers
Matt Forte to Bears OC: ‘Why Throw Another Screen?’
Quarterback Justin Fields finished with 211 passing yards, two interceptions, and one touchdown on 55% completion. One of his interceptions returned for a touchdown for the second week in a row. It was the play call that warranted Forte’s next post, though.
“Why throw another screen tho,” Forte posted after the final pick.
Why throw another screen tho? pic.twitter.com/Ts4ru3ax7w
— Matt Forte (@MattForte22) September 17, 2023
Getsy’s overreliance on the screen game was noted during the game, especially on that final play.
Justin Fields Struggles Behind Shaky Protection
Fields absorbed six sacks on Sunday, bringing his season total through two games to 10 and putting him on pace for more than 80 sacks this season. That is assuming he can stay healthy with the beating he is taking behind an offensive line that was without starting right guard Nate Davis.
Young tackles Braxton Jones and Darnell Wright also continued to struggle with EDGE rushers.
Fields also fumbled twice, though he did not lose either fumble. But his internal clock in the pocket continued to be slower than needed leading to several early sacks including on the drive to end the first half.
The quarterback noted after the loss in Week 1 that the game plan called for short passes. He said that he had to be more aggressive going forward later in the week, though.
It will be interesting to hear the message after they review the tape this week. They have another, even more challenging test awaiting them in Week 3 in the form of the reigning champion Kansas City Chiefs. Kansas City got both tight end Travis Kelce and All-Pro defensive lineman Chris Jones back this week.
The Bears last won in Kansas City in 2015 but have only played once and in Chicago since.
This was the Bears’ 12th consecutive loss going back to last season, and they have not posted a winning record since 2018. They have the NFL’s eighth-worst record in that span and are coming off having the worst record in the league at 3-14.
Two weeks into the regular season if far from time to panic. But alarm bells should be ringing at Halas Hall as the search for answers continues.
Other Notable Decisions
The Bears were also berated for making wide receiver Equanimeous St. Brown a healthy scratch. This is despite Fields referring to him as a “leader” in the room. St. Brown was also brought in in part because of his knowledge of Getsy’s system and is arguably the team’s best run blocker among their top wideouts.
He was not the only notable scratch, however. Running back D’Onta Foreman was also a healthy scratch. Foreman spoke in the locker room during the week about what it would take to crack Tampa’s stout defense.
— Clocker Sports (@ClockerSports) September 15, 2023
Foreman had 118 yards in his first meeting against the Bucs while still a member of the Carolina Panthers last season.
He was held to just 35 yards in the second meeting, perhaps lessening the glow of the first.
Still, it was one of many notable decisions made by the coaching staff – and general manager Ryan Poles who Getsy said earlier in the week was a part of the decision-making regarding who is and is not active on game day.