By Dan Durkin-
(CBS) Everything is left up for question and scrutiny when your supposedly high-powered offense is shut out at home in the first half, as the Bears’ was Sunday against the Dolphins. One of the biggest questions was why Chicago chose to only put the ball in the belly of running back Matt Forte twice in the first half against a team that was giving up 110 yards on the ground.
After the game, quarterback Jay Cutler and coach Marc Trestman both confirmed that the Bears had two other run plays called, which Cutler checked out of due to not getting the proper look from the Dolphins’ defensive front. Trestman went on to clarify Wednesday what happened.
“That’s no different than making a halftime adjustment,” Trestman said. “We have some runs that are attached to throws and others that are just called runs, so at halftime we said, ‘Regardless of the front we’re getting, we think we can run the ball this half,’ so that’s what we decided to do.”
This brings up the question of whether Cutler should or shouldn’t have checked to the passes and if Trestman took away those checks in the second half, which he also addressed.
“It wasn’t as if we were handcuffing anybody or taking things out of the quarterback hands — that wasn’t the intent at all,” Trestman said. “To be very specific, the intent was we wanted to make sure when we called a run, we felt that we had the advantage and the advantage was to run it. And the play designs were set up that we could handle any fronts on those particular calls. Jay didn’t make any wrong decisions. They did a good job of defending those decisions and so we made an adjustment to attack them a different way in the second half.”
The Bears offense performed better in the second half Sunday, scoring 14 points and putting up 170 yards. However, as they have a few times over the past few weeks, they’ve been completely shut down in one half of the game (with the exception being the Atlanta game), which calls into question how their tendencies are showing up on film to their opponents.
Dan Durkin covers the Bears for CBSChicago.com and is a frequent contributor to 670 The Score. Follow him on Twitter at @djdurkin.