Snapshot of a season

November, 29, 2009
11/29/09
8:25
PM ET

MINNEAPOLIS -- The opening of the second half provided an excellent snapshot of the 2009 Chicago Bears season. Johnny Knox returned a kickoff 77 yards to the Minnesota Vikings' 8-yard line. Should be an easy touchdown, right?

Unlucky Seven

Jay Cutler struggled when the Vikings dropped seven into pass coverage. This has been a recurring theme in 2009 - 15 of Cutler's now 20 Int have come against four pass rushers or less.


Passing by Number of Rushers, vs Vikings
4 or Less 5 or More
Comp-att 13-17 5-6
Pass yds 96 51
TD-Int 0-2 1-0
Passer rtg 49.8 141.7

Wrong.

The Bears went backwards 12 yards; Jay Cutler was sacked on second down, Orlando Pace was then whistled for a false start on third down, then Cutler was sacked again and the Bears had to settle for a field goal. But there's more, as Bears offensive coordinator Ron Turner explained in the postgame locker room.

"On (the) second down play, his [Cutler's] primary receiver ran the wrong route," Turner said. "So he's [Cutler] looking for a guy that's supposed to be there, who would have been wide open, so then he gets sacked."

Turner refused to identify the receiver in question.

"It's easy to blame the quarterback, but everybody has to execute," Turner said. "That's kind of been the story. Especially in the red zone, we seem to botch base plays we've had in, and not give ourselves a chance."

Turner has taken most of the blame for the offense, but how does an NFL receiver run the wrong route in that situation? That's not on the offensive coordinator, it's on the player.

Jeff Dickerson | email

Chicago Bears beat reporter
Dickerson has been the Bears beat reporter for ESPN Chicago since 2004. He is also a talk-show host on ESPN 1000 and the ESPN Radio network.

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