It doesn’t change anything about the mistakes themselves, but both head coach and quarterback were standing front-and-center on Monday to take accountability for a litany of costly gaffes in Sunday’s 26-18 loss to the New Orleans Saints.
The Saints sacked Jay Cutler on three of the Bears’ first 12 snaps and there was enough blame to spread around.
The first and most costly was a blown assignment by either the lineman or running back. The result was a blind-side chase-down of Cutler by Saints safety Malcolm Jenkins, who knocked the ball loose where it was recovered by Cameron Jordan, leading to a field goal. That sack was on the players.
But five sacks later Cutler was sacked by blitzing linebacker David Hawthorne. Coach Marc Trestman issued a “my-bad.”
With the Bears in an empty backfield, “[the Saints] lined up in a front that they hadn’t lined up in at all,” Trestman said. “We’ve experienced the front and I normally give Jay an alert if something like that happens and I didn’t do that… .If I would have given him that alert, it would not have been an issue.”
Cutler “my bad:” Kyle Long downfield illegally
The offense squandered a first-and-goal from the 4-yard line in the second quarter when Cutler improvised on an apparent run play designed for Matt Forte. Cutler spotted a New Orleans safety drifting up into the gap for the original play and kept the ball rather than hand off, throwing an incompletion toward Earl Bennett.
The problem was that receivers were run-blocking, linemen were run-blocking and guard Kyle Long was making his block beyond the line of the scrimmage. The pass rendered him an ineligible man downfield. The result was a five-yard penalty and the Bears were forced to settle for a field goal after three more incompletions.
“He was fine, perfectly fine,” Cutler said. “It was a similar situation to where I pulled it and ran it, and I’m not going to run it in that [red-zone] situation. Just trying to manage the play and got rid of it. We had a run called and Kyle was doing everything he was supposed to be doing.”