Offensive Problems Resurface

JACKSONVILLE, FL - In Chad Hutchinson's first game at quarterback they didn't have a single three-and-out series. Sunday they had six, including their first four series.

"Offensively we never really got into a rhythm," Smith said. "We weren't able to establish the run. We were able to hit a few passes here and there but we weren't able to finish the job."

Hutchinson was tackled for a safety by Daryl Smith in the early fourth quarter on a play that was a relative gamble for the Bears considering they started on their 4-yard line after a Chris Hanson punt.

Hutchinson dropped back deep on play-action, looking upfield and didn't have a chance as Smith blitzed and beat the block of backup fullback Jason McKie. McKie played because regular fullback Bryan Johnson missed the game with a foot sprain.

"The thought process was we needed a big play," Smith said. "We felt like they would be in man coverage and we would have a chance to hit a big one. On the other side, when you're a defensive team you want to pressure but you know you can't give up that big play. The protection broke down and they were able to get that safety."

"I play action faked and looked up and before I even had a chance to throw it I was hit," Hutchinson said. "It was tough. It was a good blitz at the right time."

RUNNING OUT OF OPTIONS
The Bears had only 14 rushing attempts Sunday, but it wasn't a season-low.

Running back Thomas Jones was stymied with 26 yards on 13 carries, both season-lows for games in which he wasn't injured. He had one against San Francisco before suffering a first-quarter sprained toe.

The Bears' line had problems all game handling defensive tackles Marcus Stroud and John Henderson in the run game. Their own penalties also hurt.

Jones thought the penalties did more than anything to stop the Bears' running game.

"It's hard, it's really hard," Jones said. "As a running back, during the game you have to get a feel for the game. When a play is called back (by penalty), the defense plays a different game when it's first down-and-15 or it's first down-and-20.

The defense has a different mindset.

"They're expecting certain plays. So the defensive guys are expecting them to run a draw or something like that. When you have penalties like that it just hurts the confidence of everyone on the offense. That makes it hard to call plays for the offensive coordinator or for the coaches."

SUN WAS IN MY EYES
Bears and Jaguars receivers fought a low sun angle all day and had drops.

None of the drops was more devastating for the Bears, according to coach Lovie Smith, than a third-down ball tight end Dustin Lyman lost on the Bears' first possession.

However, Lyman didn't want to blame the sun, which was directly in his eyes on the play.

"I think what that comes down to is I took my eye off the ball and I started turning up the field a split second too early," Lyman said. "There's a million different reasons why I dropped the ball, but the main reason was I just took my eye off it and it was early in the game; I was hoping we could come back and overcome it and win the game and it would just be no big deal."

SHORTHANDED
Lyman was starting due to a shoulder and rib bruise that kept starter Desmond Clark sidelined. The Bears were also without right tackle John Tait due to a knee sprain.


Bear Report Top Stories