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Bears Tue Nov 05 2013

In Trestman We Trust

Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for GB bears icon.pngBears fans woke up across the country this morning, pinching themselves to make sure this is real life. A win in Green Bay didn't seem conceivable until the much maligned Shea McClellin, drove Aaron Rodgers's non-throwing shoulder into the ground for a season-changing sack. In that instant, the Packers became vulnerable. Marc Trestman and the Bears offense took it from there.

On a night where the run defense couldn't make a stop to save their lives (including laughably bad plays from Chris Conte and Major Wright that should send them to the bench), and the special teams was ill-prepared on multiple occasions, it was the calming influence of Trestman and backup quarterback Josh McCown that put the Bears back in first place. Yes, you read that sentence right.

27 points in Green Bay, with no help from the special teams or defense outside of a sick blocked shot and rebound by a former UNC basketball player is something you can hang your hat on. Sure, Clay Matthews wasn't around, but the Packers were fourth in the NFC in sacks coming into the game and were still getting constant pressure on the quarterback without their All-Pro.

Trestman said the play calling wouldn't change with McCown running the show, and that was no lie. You saw the same offense featuring easy, completable passes, misdirection toss plays and shotgun off tackle runs that kept the Packers on their heels all night. It wasn't all about the design either. McCown was poised in the pocket, and delivered a majority of his throws in time and on target. He's surrounded with playmakers at wide receiver, tight end, and running back, and had time to deliver them the ball thanks to an offensive line that provided a dominant performance.

And then there was "The Drive." With a four point lead and 9:48 to play, the Bears whittled the clock down to 50 seconds while forcing the Packers to burn all of their timeouts. Two third down conversions and a fourth down call that coaches rarely make were highlights not only in their success, but also because they kept the Bears leaky defense off the field.

On fourth and inches at their own 32, the Bears originally sent the punting unit out to give the Packers the ball back with seven minutes plus still on the clock. Trestman then took a timeout to think things over. The defense was on the fritz, the special teams had already allowed one blocked punt with a second close call, and the offense was effectively running the ball. He waited two decades to coach an NFL team, and has done it brilliantly through the first eight weeks. Let's go for it, he said. In a complete 180 from the lore of Lovie Smith and his 'trust our defense' mentality, Trestman made a decision that just two coaches have made in the last 14 years. It takes brass balls to sell real estate; the same goes for gaining it in the NFL.

Three yards for the first down. Then nine, 11, nine again, two, followed by a fake jet sweep backside flip on third and one that went for 15 -- a play Trestman called earlier in the game. He did the same thing on the Alshon Jeffery touchdown catch -- making the exact same call on the play prior, with McCown simply delivering the football to the opposite side of the field/formation.

Just like that, the Bears have a chance again. A huge game at home against Detroit awaits, and one thing is nearly certain: the Bears will have to rely on their offense to win again. This Chicago Bears team isn't defined by the Monsters of the Midway mentality. It's all about offense in Marc Trestman's world. And it's damn fun to watch.

 
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