|ESPN.com: NFC North||[Print without images]|
|Following their loss to the Green Bay Packers, the Chicago Bears visit the examination room.|
After the obvious success derived from a balanced offense in the second half of the season, I'm not sure why Martz panicked so early Sunday and abandoned the run in the second quarter. As we just noted, there were 41 minutes of game time remaining when the Packers grabbed their 14-0 lead. Every instinct suggested the Bears needed to trust their defense and stay on point. Instead, Martz called 10 consecutive passing plays. The Bears' offensive line long ago demonstrated that it wouldn't be able to protect Cutler unless opponents at least feared the possibility of a run. Packers nose tackle B.J. Raji said the Packers were confident that if "we stopped their run, none of their quarterbacks could beat us." But in that second quarter, Martz made it a lot easier for them. It wasn't until Cutler left the game that Martz went back to the running game, probably by necessity in order to protect Hanie. But in a key portion of the game, Martz forgot what got the Bears this far.