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Thursday, December 9, 2010
Deep passes, three-and-outs and the Bears

By Kevin Seifert

Chicago Bears offensive coordinator Mike Martz is now promising more deep passes, according to Brad Biggs of the Chicago Tribune.

You might recall our discussion on that topic last week and wonder if Martz will let his ego get the best of him -- or if he will stay with what has helped get the Bears to 9-3 this season. After all, the short-passing game has transformed quarterback Jay Cutler into an efficient, relatively mistake-free player over the second half of the season.

The updated numbers, according to ESPN Stats & Information: Cutler has the NFL's third-best passer rating (106.3) on passes that travel 10 or less yards in the air. On attempts that cover 11 or more air yards, Cutler has completed 41 percent (41 of 100), including six of his 10 interceptions.

It's always possible that Martz is just playing coy in public. But his history of flamboyant offenses makes you wonder if he isn't getting a little antsy. After all, as AFC South colleague Paul Kuharsky points out via the Elias Sports Bureau, the Bears have the second-most three-and-out drives in the NFL this season.

Here's the full list, which also prominently includes the Detroit Lions: