Bears OC Luke Getsy stands by game plan that resulted in 10 points, 11 passes
Regardless of the opponent, regardless of having a young quarterback in Justin Fields and regardless of Getsy being just two games into his coordinating career, this is a time for adjustments rather than stubbornness.
Fresh off the Bears scoring just 10 points in Sunday’s loss to the Packers, offensive coordinator Luke Getsy defended a game plan that resulted in the least productive passing game of the young NFL season.
Regardless of the opponent, regardless of having a young quarterback in Justin Fields and regardless of Getsy being just two games into his coordinating career, this is a time for adjustments, not stubbornness.
Fields threw a total of 11 passes against the Packers — including just one on the opening drive of the fourth quarter, when the Bears still had a chance — and completed seven for 70 yards. He’s the only NFL starter to throw fewer than 20 passes in a game this season, and he has done it twice.
Fields said he doesn’t care how many passes he throws as long as the Bears win, but there was neither prolific passing nor victory in Green Bay. The Bears ran for 203 yards, but all it got them was a 24-7 deficit at halftime and a thudding loss to their archrival.
Getsy said he called 19 or 20 pass plays out of a meager 41 snaps on offense. Three were lost to sacks, one was negated when Fields crossed the line of scrimmage before throwing, and the rest morphed into scrambles.
“I know that it’s the NFL [and] everyone’s throwing it 30 or 40 times a game, but we only had 41 snaps,” Getsy said Thursday. “And when you run the ball the way that we did . . . that’s part of it.
“What gives us the best chance to succeed? Were our matchups favorable to us? Last week, there were parts of the run game [where] we felt like we had a pretty good matchup, and we were able to get seven [gains of 10-plus yards]. That’s a lot of explosives in the run game.”
Sure, but again, where did it get the Bears? And where will that type of game plan get them going forward? Playing that way probably won’t beat even the lowly Texans on Sunday. The reason “everyone’s throwing it 30 or 40 times a game” is because that’s how to win in the modern NFL. Over the last decade, teams throwing for fewer than 100 yards have gone 41-91-1.
The best QBs can overcome any scheme, and the most important thing for the Bears this season is determining whether Fields has that capacity. He needs a legitimate oppor-tunity to show he can drive the offense, as opposed to letting defenses dictate that.
Getting only 41 plays isn’t some misfortune that inexplicably befell Getsy and the Bears. It’s directly tied to how bad their offense was. They had the fewest offensive plays by any team this season and the fifth-fewest over the last five seasons. They went three-and-out on four consecutive possessions beginning in the second quarter.
Despite all those missteps offensively, they still opened the fourth quarter with an opportunity to get back in the game, down 24-10. They drove 89 yards, powered mostly by running back David Montgomery, before facing fourth-and-goal from about a foot and a half out. Getsy called a run for Fields out of the shotgun; he was stopped short by no more than a couple of inches.
He said he’d call it again if given a do-over.
“Yeah, we love that play,” Getsy said. “That was our plan. We talked about it all week. That was exactly what we wanted. We just didn’t execute it well enough. We’ve got to get them coached up a little bit better so that they don’t make that mistake.”
Even a touchdown would have left the Bears trailing by seven. After the Packers’ ensuing field-goal drive, they would havebeen down 10 points when they got the ball back with 2:28 left.
Too much went wrong and the outcome was too dismal for Getsy to be this certain about that game plan.