15 on 6: Cutler has basic fundamental breakdown

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15 on 6: Cutler has basic fundamental breakdown

Sunday, Oct. 24, 2010
10:23 PM

By Jim Miller
CSNChicago.com

The Bears have dropped two games at Soldier field which could have had them sitting pretty in the NFC. Their shaky offense has played better on the road than in the confines of their own home. Sunday was no exception with six turnovers, two inside the red zone that could have put the Redskins away.

Indefensible

It is hard to defend the indefensible. You give Jay credit for getting the ball over the goal line on the QB sneak in the third quarter. I thought it was too far out to attempt, but they may have come right back with another QB sneak, but never got that opportunity due to the fumble.

Fault the coaches for not challenging the play because that might of put the Redskins in a bind as they were already on life support. It also could have given the Bears offense the confidence it needed to get back on track for just this game.

Things are not going to change offensively until players start doing the little things. Jay's four interceptions and fumble are a good place to start. Two interceptions can be attributed to Jay's inaccuracy and two others should be placed on the receivers shoulders.

Little things matter in the NFL. You attempt to have a perfect practice during the week, working on everything from your footwork to mesh points with backs on handoffs, and the timing of the passing game.

I would like to take this opportunity to ask all Bears fans if Jay's 92-yard pick-6 in the red zone looked like the proper technique to deliver the football? Feel free to reply below.

If that is how he practiced it, then that is the result you're going to get in the game. He was fading away and did not have his feet set properly when delivering the football. Mike Martz should hammer on him so those fundamental breakdowns do not happen again. It should not be too much to ask of your 30 million starting QB to deliver the football correctly.

Update
I do a show for Sirius NFL Rewind with Jack Arute on Sunday nights. We go over all the games in the NFL and were joined this week by Mike Pereira, who was the former head of officiating and now works for FOX.

I asked him specifically about the Jay Cutler fumble at the one-yard line. He said "the Bears coaching staff blew it."

He further added that the Bears should have never challenged the Bennett play to the one-yard line. If the Bears challenged the Cutler play, Mike said, "it was clearly a touchdown and an easy review for the officials."

All aspects of the Bears need to be reviewed, specifically, who is giving Lovie Smith faulty information when it comes to challanging plays. His record on challenges is not steller, but he is relying on others to give him the information needed to make sound decisions.

The decision to keep the red flag in his pocket cost the Bears seven points, and ultimately, the win.

Jim Miller, an 11-year former NFL quarterback, is a Comcast SportsNet Bears analyst who can be seen each week on U.S. Cellular Bears Postgame Live. Miller, who spent five seasons with the Bears, analyzes current Chicago QB Jay Cutler in his "15 on 6" blog on CSNChicago.com and can be followed on Twitter @15miller.

Three Bears necessities toward going 3-0 in Jerry's house

Three Bears necessities toward going 3-0 in Jerry's house

The Bears have won both times they've played in Jerry Jones' gargantuan pigskin palace. But that was in 2010 and 2012, the last two times this franchise finished with a winning record. The home team has lost eight straight times there. This matchup actually provides some hope for the offense (despite Jay Cutler's absence), but uncomfortable thoughts defensively, considering Danny Trevathan and Eddie Goldman will be sidelined, with safety Adrian Amos and nickel back Bryce Callahan (concussions) potentially joining them.

1. Tag Hoyer

...with a red non-contact jersey. Not possible, you say? Okay, well this scuffling offensive line needs to get in synch. And quickly. Like the Bears, the Cowboys have just four sacks so far this season. But they did deliver nine hits last week in D.C. on an already-rattled Kirk Cousins. Rod Marinelli's no-name, suspension-thinned defense has allowed fewer points than the Bears. The added concern is Hoyer's lack of work with the only player opponents must game-plan for: Alshon Jeffery, who worked primarily with Cutler throughout training camp. And who knows how much Jeffery (knee) worked at full-speed in practice this week, being held out of Thursday's workout completely. So....

2. Hand off, dump off

There is no time like now to establish the running game. There's Hoyer trying to get comfortable. There's the 4.75 yards per rush the Cowboys defense is allowing. There's the need to keep the Cowboys' offensive weapons off the field against the Bears' banged-up D. Between Dez Bryant, Jason Witten, Cole Beasley, Ezekiel Elliott, and the best offensive line in the NFL, no matter Dak Prescott looks so comfortable. And when the Bears need to mix up their attempt to pound on the ground, get Zach Miller and Eddie Royal involved with quick-hits through the air.

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3. Fill up the half-empty glass

Whether this is Dowell Loggains being unable to adjust and be creative enough to the opposition's counter moves, or a coincidental breakdown in execution, the Bears' offense has scored zero points after halftime. We signed off on Houston's talented defense two weeks ago. Three turnovers on the first four possessions lost momentum Monday night. Loggains and company need to find a way to anticipate, execute, and dictate at a much higher level over the final 30 minutes.

**Join Alex Brown, Lance Briggs, Jim Miller and Chris at 6:30 p.m. Sunday night on Comcast SportsNet for "Bears Pregame Live," leading you right up to the 7:30 kickoff on NBC. Then as soon as the second quarter ends, log on to CSNChicago.com for "Bears Halftime Live," as Jim and Chris break down the first 30 minutes and go over adjustments. And immediately after the game ends, switch back to CSN as the four guys are joined by former Bears coach Dave Wannstedt for 90 minutes of reaction, analysis, live press conferences and locker room interviews from Dallas on "Bears Postgame Live."**

Bears vs. Cowboys: And the winner is...

Bears vs. Cowboys: And the winner is...

Severe conflict here.

The obvious temptation is to succumb to the swelling despair surrounding the Bears and predict a third loss to open the 2016 season. And “View from the Moon” did in fact call this game as a loss back in April. It’s not that easy, however.

The Bears couldn’t be pants’d by two rookie quarterbacks in a row, could they? Dak Prescott got the Dallas Cowboys to a win last Sunday while Carson Wentz was preparing to undo the Bears Monday night. Prescott posted a passer rating of 103.7 in the win at Washington while the Bears were losing their game and their quarterback the next night.

But if the Bears have had their troubles at home under John Fox (1-8), the Cowboys haven’t won a home game without Tony Romo at quarterback since December 2010.

So a contrarian view has taken shape. Brian Hoyer looked awful in training camp and preseason, but Hoyer is a controlled professional in the tradition of Josh McCown, and last year with the Houston Texans put up six games with passer ratings of 94 or better (Cutler had seven for the Bears).

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I do not like the look of the Bears defense without nose tackle Eddie Goldman and with a litany of others (Willie Young, Bryce Callahan, Adrian Amos) at less than 100 percent because of early season injuries. There is little to favor the Bears, which is why bettors placed them as clear underdogs.

But the belief here is that the offense will shed its passive mindset and attack with Jordan Howard and the running game, unlike the first two games. The first two games effectively turned on turnovers, and Hoyer last year had just one game in the 11 he played where he threw more interceptions than touchdown passes, before the meltdown in the playoffs.

If the Bears keep control of the football, they will wear down a mediocre Dallas defense, which is exactly the style of game Fox and Dowell Loggains want.

Bears 17, Cowboys 16

(View from the Moon ’16 record: 1-1)