His players thought enough of Marc Trestman’s first game as an NFL head coach to award him the game ball. Well deserved. Trestnman and coordinator Aaron Kromer kept a very good defense guessing with play calls and did not put a still-meshing offensive line at risk for the sake of big plays.
The decision to go for the fourth-down converstion in the fourth quarter was a statement and the offense responded to a creative (sweep right) call with a first down, followed by a touchdown.
“(Gutsy) play calling,” quarterback Jay Cutler said. “That’s what Trestman’s about. He’s going to roll the dice. He believes in us on offense.”
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The Bears showed some no-huddle and committed to running the ball and working underneath routes as a way to neutralize the Cincinnati pass rush early.
Critical, however, was the change from some hurry up play plans of the first half into more deliberate calls in the second after recognizing that the quest for tempo wasn’t working.
Needing to burn two timeouts in the first quarter was a problem. The Bears got the ball back with 42 seconds in the first half and the ball at the Cincinnati 44 after a personal foul. The offense ran one play in 19 seconds and had to spike the ball.
More grades: Quarterbacks (A-), Running Backs (B), Receivers (A-), Offensive Line (A), Secondary (B), Defensive Line (B)