- Michael C. Wright, ESPN Staff Writer
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An offensive specialist, Chicago Bears coach Marc Trestman admitted that mistakes and a slow start on his side of the ball affected the defense’s ability to effectively stop the New Orleans Saints on Sunday during a 26-18 loss at Soldier Field.
Chicago’s first five drives resulted in four punts and a fumble that New Orleans turned into a field goal. That ineptitude on offense, led to New Orleans possessing the ball for nearly a quarter (12 minutes) longer than the Bears.
“The big thing on the defense was the time they were on the field,” Trestman said. “As I told the team afterwards, the residual effect of being on the field that long is we didn’t have enough to stop them long enough to have the ball 11 minutes in the third quarter and that really held us back. Offense only had the ball three legitimate drives in the second half, and I attribute that to the time they were on the field in the first half and our inability to move the football early in the game. So that’s where the connectivity comes between offense and defense particularly.”
Trestman described the “offense’s inability to move the ball” as “unacceptable.”
Quarterback Jay Cutler agreed.
“It’s hard to beat them whenever you’re minus-one on the turnover ratio,” Cutler said Monday during “The Jay Cutler Show” on ESPN 1000. “We gave them one. We had three sacks, got kicked off the field on those three. So it’s tough to battle back against a team like that whenever they’re playing as good of football as they’re playing.”
New Orleans ran twice as many plays as the Bears in the third quarter (20 to 10). Chicago was able to achieve a more equitable distribution of offensive snaps in the third quarter (17 to 16), and outscored the Saints 8-3.
“It all came down to how we started this game,” Trestman said. “You can’t start that way and give (Saints quarterback) Drew Brees 36 minutes with the ball and expect to win.”