The Chicago Bears' Playoff Hopes Lie In the "Baltimore Blueprint"

An'dre TriplettCorrespondent IJuly 31, 2008

Name the Baltimore Ravens' starting quarterback for the 2000 season. Have you come up with the answer yet? I will give the answer later in this article.

This article is a comparison between what has been called the "Baltimore Blueprint" and the Chicago Bears' chances of returning to the playoffs. Yes, I said playoffs!

The "blueprint", as I will call it in this article, was a plan that entailed the quarterback not making mistakes that would hamper the team from going deep into the playoffs and possibly making a Super Bowl run.

I'm going to look at the statistics for the games played by Trent Dilfer and Rex Grossman.

First, we'll look at Dilfer's stats for the 2000 season.

Dilfer played in 11 games that year and started in eight of them. Dilfer's passing yardage total was 1,502 yards. He threw 226 times, completing 134 passes for a 59.3 completion percentage, while throwing 12 TDs and 11 INTs.

Dilfer's longest throw that year was 59 yards. He was sacked 23 times for a loss of 135 yards. Dilfer averaged 136.5 yards per game that year. These statistics are not mind-blowing by any standard.

Now, let's look at Rex Grossman's stats from last year.

Grossman played in eight games and started seven, but he was injured, which ended his season prematurely. Rex threw 225 times and completed 122 passes, for a 54.2 completion percentage. He totaled 1,411 yards through the air while throwing four TDs and seven INTs. Rex's longest throw last year was also 59 yards. Grossman was sacked 25 times for a loss of 198 yards. These stats also are not mind-blowing, but are similar to Dilfer.

What both QBs did have in common was a veteran defense. The Chicago Bears' front seven feature players such as Tommie Harris, Alex Brown, Lance Briggs, Brian Urlacher, Hunter Hillenmeyer, and Adewale Ogunleye. 

The Bears' defense should be the identity of the team while the offense tries to create one this year, with rookie running back Matt Forte and rookie wide receivers Earl Bennett and Marcus Monk. Once an offensive identity has been established, the Bears' offense will be more formidable against NFC defenses.

The precious commodity that is field position is invaluable in the NFL, and too often the Bears spent a majority of their possessions in their own half of the field last season.

To alleviate this, Grossman should use his third and fourth receivers to gain any yardage via the swing pass, or he should look for the tight end coming across the middle of the field. Hopefully, Greg Olsen can be that playmaker across the middle.  This will only succeed if Olsen proves that he can block in the run game.

Rex Grossman, though he doesn't have all-pro talent surrounding him, can be a decent quarterback, as Trent Dilfer was for Baltimore. The only thing Rex needs to do is play mistake-free football and not put the defense in a bad position after a turnover.

If he can accomplish that, then the Bears' chances of winning increases exponentially.  Should Rex not be able to stay relatively mistake free, look for Kyle Orton to take over the quarterback duties.

The Ravens showed what it takes to make a deep playoff, and eventually a Super Bowl, run with a mediocre quarterback. Hopefully the Bears can implement some type of similar plan for this upcoming season.

With Rex Grossman having signed a one-year deal this offseason, the time is now for him to show that he can lead the team back to the playoffs and, hopefully, the Super Bowl.

Have you figured out who the starting quarterback was for the Ravens yet?

Well it was former Michigan State and St. Louis Rams quarterback Tony Banks.

Anything is possible! Go Bears!!


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