Audibles From the Long Snapper: Stats, Forte “Struggling” & Lovie Smith with Personality

| September 23rd, 2014



  • Two quarterbacks will play Sunday at Soldier Field. One has completed 66.1% of his passes for 750 yards and a TD-INT ratio of 8-2. Passer rating? 98.2. The other has completed 62.7% of his passes for 697 yards and a 5-1 ratio. Passer rating of 95.1 Heading into Bears v. Packers, Bears have the quarterback playing at the higher level.
  • Through three weeks, the Bears have the league’s sack (Willie Young, 4) and interception (Kyle Fuller, 3) leaders.
  • Bears defense has not allowed a second half touchdown.
  • Bears offense is 27th in yardage and 9th in points. If you read this site you know how I feel about quantifying offensive performance with yardage gained. It is nonsensical, especially in the current NFL where yards simply aren’t that difficult to gain. How an offense performs in the red zone is how that offense is defined. Points matter. Yards don’t.


The Bears were never going to successfully run the ball against San Francisco or the Jets, on the road, in prime time. Those are two of the best five defensive fronts in the game. Buffalo, Chicago’s week one opponent, might also be included in that group. No, Forte hasn’t run the ball effectively but through three weeks, against three terrific fronts, Matt Forte has 281 yards from scrimmage. And he has made big plays in big moments.


I was going to write a Tuesday column essentially stating the 2014 Bears defense reminds me an awful lot of all those cherished Lovie Smith defenses. But credit where credit is due. Rick Morrissey has already written it in the Sun-Times:

These Bears look like Lovie Smith’s Bears, and that’s a compliment. Did I just write that?

Yes, I did, and it wasn’t under duress. No zombie stare from Lovie. No Smith family member threatening to make me listen to reruns of his press conferences. The highest compliment I can pay the former Bears coach is that his teams had oodles of good fortune. Forced fumbles, interceptions, timely penalties against the opposition — when things were going well for the Lovester, they went very well.

Mel Tucker’s defense has flaws. Many of them. But you saw in the fourth quarter what they could look like with a relentless Jared Allen rushing the quarterback. Sunday against the Packers, without the threat of the read option, Allen could be poised for a monster game. (We know the opposite end will be successful.)

Mel Tucker is something of a Lovie Smith with personality. He’s more fiery and his players seem to feed off of it.

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