LAKE FOREST, Ill. -- The Bears' offensive game plan from their 19-13 loss to the Minnesota Vikings came under heavy scrutiny after the blitz-heavy Vikings recorded 21 pressures and five sacks while the Bears offered almost no counter.
Numerous plays highlighted either poor scheme, bad communication, or a lack of execution in the loss to the Vikings.
It started with the first play of the game, where the Bears went empty against the blitz-happy Vikings instead of giving quarterback Justin Fields extra protection. Fields checked the protection and knew he had a free runner coming from his blindside. Fields' first read on the play is fullback Khari Blasingame, who lined up wide to the right. Wide receiver DJ Moore also came open quickly from the slot. But Fields didn't rip it and was sacked by D.J. Wonnum.
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It was a harbinger of what was to come for the next 60 minutes.
On Thursday, offensive coordinator Luke Getsy explained why the Bears went empty on the first snap and what went wrong.
"Yeah, you get two things," Getsy said. "Half the time, they blitz everybody. And half the time, they don’t. But also you get to see — we were in 21 personnel — so you got to see kind of what their plan was against us. Were they gonna go big, or were they gonna go sub-defense? They went sub-defense. Justin did a great job. He checked the protection. He just didn’t react the right way. When you make the protection, and you know you have the guy free, you’ve got to drift right and throw it. And he didn’t do that. But he did the hard part. He recognized the defense that they had never shown us. He handled it with the right protection adjustment. He just didn’t handle the next part of it right."
Another play that came under intense scrutiny was the Bears' third-and-2 play from the Minnesota 27-yard line in the second quarter. The Bears have a six-man protection upfront with D'Onta Foreman in the backfield. Right tackle Darnell Wright should have blocked edge rusher Danielle Hunter, but instead, he slides over to take the blitzer, leaving Foreman to block Hunter. Hunter bulldozes Foreman and hits Fields' arm as he's throwing, causing the ball to flutter into the hands of linebacker Jordan Hicks.
Getsy chalked that up to a rookie making a mistake.
"Just miscommunication," Getsy said. "You know, the first one you speak of, just a young guy made a mistake and blocked the little guy, and so we lost an opportunity to throw one to DJ there. The other one was just, again, miscommunication. The center made a call, and we didn't execute that call. And you know, usually bad things happen when you don't execute the calls that you talk about."
Getsy also called a third-and-7 run play to Darrynton Evans that elicited a loud chorus of boos from the Soldier Field faithful after the running back was stopped for 3 yards.
The Bears offensive coordinator once again defended the decision but said the Bears didn't execute the way they needed.
"That was our premier look," Getsy said. "That was a premier look. We had that as a check that we wanted to get to when they played their AA defense. We had it what we wanted. We just didn't finish those blocks. The guy, you know, even reached out and kicked and tripped Darrynton on it. Like that one was where we were really close to having about a 15 to 25 yard gain on that one. We had the exact thing we wanted. We prepared for it. That was what we wanted there. We just didn't do it right."
The Bears didn't do much right on offense against the Vikings. The Bears had 10 days to prepare for Minnesota's aggressive defense. Ten days to prepare counters to attack a blitz-heavy defense.
But they looked unprepared for what Minnesota threw at them last Sunday. There was a myriad of strange play calls and missed assignments against the Vikings.
Getsy can try and explain the gaffes any way he wants. The excuses should fall on deaf ears.
The Bears are outcoached and outexecuted almost every week. That the offense had no answers for what everyone knew the Vikings would do is just the latest example of the inexcusable errors that have plagued the Bears all season.
For that, there is no excuse.