Mike Martz takes blame for offense
Martz called 52 pass plays compared to 11 rushing attempts in the 30-13 defeat, despite the fact Bears quarterback Jay Cutler was sacked six times and under immense pressure the entire afternoon.
"If you are looking for blame, just blame me," Martz said Wednesday. "It's just one of those things that happened. I did a poor job of coaching. We didn't play very good. We got to clean up what was wrong and what we didn't do and move on."
Matt Forte ran the ball seven times in the first quarter, but had only three carries the rest of the game. Backup running back Kahlil Bell had one attempt on the ground, while Cutler scrambled once for 12 yards on a play that was supposed to be a pass. The Bears were down 16-13 at one point in the third quarter and only trailed by 10 points heading into the fourth quarter.
"What happened, to be honest with you, I got into a two-minute mode too soon," Martz said. "That's one of the things I talked with [Bears coach] Lovie [Smith] about. Going into that fourth quarter, once that turnover came, there's just a lot of things; it's just not simple. But none of them are a justification. We went into that game thinking we were going to run the ball quite a bit, again there are reasons for everything, it's not that we want to do that. Nobody wants to throw the ball that much. It's not fun."
Martz said the off-balance attack also put too much pressure on the Bears' protections.
"We need to mix it up a lot more than we did in that game," Martz said. "We had a lot of pressure, more pressure than we probably suspected, and it puts a lot of pressure on some of these protections. We just didn't execute very well in a lot of areas. We just didn't play very well.
"We had one sack going into the fourth quarter, then we got into a throw it, throw it, throw it deal, really sooner than we should have. Looking back, I went back with Lovie and we always re-evaluate the game, what could we do better. In that moment when they are giving certain pressures ... there are a lot of reasons why. None of them are very good."
Smith and Martz have a working relationship that dates back to 1988 when the two coaches were on the same staff at Arizona State. Smith, who served as Martz's defensive coordinator for three seasons in St. Louis before being named Bears head coach in 2004, trusts his veteran offensive coordinator to oversee nearly every aspect of the offense.
Martz was asked if Smith could or would ever call up to the coaching box to voice concerns about the plays being called.
"Yeah, he could, but that's not kind of how we do things," Martz said. "Lovie has great trust in what we are doing and understands that. I think he understood too, a lot of the issues we are dealing with."
"Our run [to] pass ratio wasn't good enough," Smith said later in the day. "I'm not going to get in to what all happened, the private things we have. I'm sure Mike will tell you the same thing; we'll get the balance back up this week."
Jeff Dickerson covers the Bears for ESPNChicago.com and ESPN 1000.