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A displeased Jay Cutler walks the sidelines after being removed from the Browns/Bears game.
Now I know what you might say about this "Oh it's only the preseason and it doesn't count". And you're right if you would say such a thing. It is the preseason and it doesn't count. But it is very telling as to the state of the Bears organization right now.
As I predicted in the off-season, the Martz-Cutler combination is not going to produce the results the Bears are hoping for. This is like adding water and oil as the two just don't and won't mix well.
An Offense run by Mike Martz relies heavily on timing, and 7 step drop backs. This works great when the team you're playing with has Kurt Warner,Torry Holt, Isaac Bruce, Marshal Faulk, and several all pro offensive lineman to offer protection.
It's a whole different story when you're QB is a "gunslinger" with an uncanny knack for throwing interceptions (please see the slide about the turn over battle on that one). Not to mention the Bears lack anyone of Holt's or Bruce's talent at receiver and they play outdoors in the "windy city" which is called that for a reason.
These are the reasons why Cutler has had anemic numbers during the Bears preseason attempts to implement "the greatest show on turf" in The Windy City, with a receiving corps lacking any home run threats, and an offensive line that provides no continuity, protection, or time for Cutler to deliver accurate balls. Just to show you what I'm talking about lets take a closer look at Cutlers statistics.
Jay Cutler has a 62.3 passer rating during the preseason (that's right he's playing the Martz system about as effectively as our Rookie Matthew Stafford did last year). In order to achieve this low passer rating he has completed just 51.4% of his passes (again similar to Stafford Last year) and thrown 1 TD against 2 INT's. So it's not a question of which team will see better play from the QB.
The Bears would have been smart to stick with the type of football they're known for. But again, I digress.
The Bears have gone 0-4 in the preseason for several reasons, and the biggest factor is the incomparability of a Martz offense in Chicago with the personnel they have to work with (not to mention the location outside). But that is not the only factor.
As we've discussed before, the Bears offensive line has given up 10 sacks on Cutler and 6 on Dan Le Fevour (which isn't nice to watch having attended CMU my self). So they have the number one most sacked QB in Cutler and a back up in Lefevour who's arguably the most mobile QB in the NFL, yet he's also been sacked the 7th most in the NFL. This is horrible protection folks. The Lions defensive line has no excuse not to decimate the Bears QB and offensive line.
Defensively the Bears and Lions have a lot of very similar statistics in the preseason. Lets take a look.
The Bears allowed 335.5 Yards per game VS the Lions 338
The Bears and Lions each had 27 Penalties on Defense all though Detroit gave up 241 yards to Chicago's 209 on Defensive Penalties.
Each team had 3 interceptions all though the Lions returned one for a touchdown.
The Detroit Lions had 6 forced fumbles in the preseason, 4 of which they recovered, and 1 that went for a touchdown.
The Chicago Bears had 4 forced fumbles and 3 of which were recovered, none of which went back for a touchdown.
We don't have time to look at every statistical comparison but just a few of these show the Detroit Lions and historically stout Chicago Defenses are incredibly similar, and if anything Detroit should win the turn over battle.
All in all, when we combine the Bears Defensive statistics from the preseason, and just look at how ineffective the Martz system has been thus far, and it's no wonder why the Bears went 0-4 in the preseason.
Add it all up and this has to be a game the Detroit Lions can, and should win.
If they can pull it off, the Lions will have won the first road game since they last beat the Bears in Chicago on October 27th, 2007.