For the fourth time this year, the Bears started a different offensive line combination. But clearly they haven't found the right one yet.
The hope is that by the time the Redskins come to Soldier Field in Week 7, they'll be able to come up with a better alignment.
With former starting left tackle Chris Williams at left guard in his first game back since suffering a hamstring injury early in Week 2, the unit allowed six sacks Sunday in a 23-20 loss to the Seahawks. The ground game managed just 20 first-half yards on nine attempts, finishing with 61 yards on 14 carries only because Chester Taylor busted a 24-yard gain on fouth-and-1 late in the game. On third downs, the Bears were 0 for 12. They have been sacked more than any team in the NFL.
Williams played in place of Roberto Garza, who underwent arthroscopic knee surgery late last week and is likely out for a couple more weeks. That didn't provide the hoped-for spark, so it's back to the lab this week in the elusive search for the right chemistry.
"We're going to continue to tweak our entire football team," coach Lovie Smith said. "This was a combination that we worked for the first time. The reason why we started that option is we felt pretty good about it. We'll just evaluate it, look at in detail to see if that's our best option."
If it is, the Bears are in trouble.
In addition to the sacks, there were other times when Cutler had to run for his life or buy time by moving in the pocket and eluding the rush.
Center Olin Kreutz, the only member of the line who has started every game, took more than his share of the blame for a front wall that didn't adjust to Seattle's blitzes.
"The breakdowns in communication is my job," Kreutz said. "It's my job to get everybody on the right guys, and I didn't get it done. Hopefully, we'll get it corrected by next week."
Williams said he didn't have a problem with starting a position he hadn't played since his sophomore year at Vanderbilt.
"It's just different, [you're playing against] bigger guys, and there are a lot more moving parts in there," Williams said. "We obviously didn't play good enough. I didn't play good enough to win, so you watch the tape and get better."
Who knows next week?
"We're going to have to, on a consistent basis, pick up [the blitz], get rid of the ball and hit our hot [reads] and make them pay for it," Cutler said. "We're getting big chunks [of yardage] and stuff. It's just not on a consistent basis."
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