Calm in the clutch starts at the top.
The overall of the coaching staff was to maintain some measure of calm in a game that was anything but.
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Marc Trestman’s handling of Jay Cutler remains a foundation point for not just the offense. A third-and-goal at the Minnesota 1 that would likely have been a Michael Bush plunge a year ago was a touchdown using the mismatches posed by Bears big receivers, in this case a TD flip to Martellus Bennett.
Also, while they had to settle for a field goal at the end of the first half, coaches and Cutler were able to run four plays in 17 seconds before the field goal. The question would be whether to have run the ball since it was at the 2-yard line, but with no timeouts remaining, the choice clearly was to go for more opportunities.
That use of clock came into play on the Bears’ final drive, as did the use of nearly every arrow in the offensive quiver. On that winning possession, Cutler threw three times to Alshon Jeffery and twice each to Matt Forte, Brandon Marshall and Bennett, who caught the game-winning touchdown pass.
Specifics within each play ultimately can turn on Cutler’s reads or decisions. But the diversification principle has been instilled and it showed.
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The defense was beaten for 100 yards by Adrian Peterson and the Vikings battered the unit for drives of 75, 81 and 79 yards in the span of four possessions. But the group was able to limit the last two to field goals when a touchdown on either would have sealed the game.
Special teams had a pair of penalties for too many men on the field, one resulting in a Minnesota first down. The disorganization needs to be corrected.
Rest of Week 2 Report Card