LAKE FOREST, Ill. -- The Chicago Bears' balanced offensive attack took a detour on the way to Lambeau Field in Week 17.
In the Bears' 10-3 loss to Green Bay, offensive coordinator Mike Martz strayed from the game plan that helped the team win seven of eight games following the bye week.
"I did not do a good job calling the game at all, really," Martz said Wednesday. "I probably got away from some things. We tried to create some things on first down in the passing game that I thought would be good. We just didn’t execute very well, we didn’t play very well and certainly didn’t coach very well in that game. It was uncharacteristic of who we are."
Unlike previous weeks, Martz relied heavily on the pass (39 attempts) in the rematch vs. the Packers, while Matt Forte received only 15 touches on the ground. Predictably, the Bears' offense struggled to score points, as Jay Cutler got sacked six times and threw a pair of interceptions.
"As you go back and look at it, we did some pretty good things in the running game but the passing game, we were really off, really out of sync in all aspects of it. I thought it was disappointing. Of course, when you throw it on first down and don’t complete, it’s second and 10 like we did, and you’re obliged to make it up another way. And of course they’re going to pressure you. I just did a bad job, really, in that game. You go back and reflect on that and look at how you dealt with some of those things and try and correct that."
The game plan in the regular season finale was curious, because the Bears were the sixth-most balanced team in the NFL during the last nine weeks of the regular season in terms of equal number of rushing plays to passing plays. The Bears' offense had 258 rushing attempts and 276 pass attempts in that span, a shocking departure from the way Martz called plays in previous NFL stops.
"I’ve always been very pragmatic about football and how you impact a team offensively," Martz said. "You have to do what you have to do to move the football and be efficient and help score points and win. It changes everywhere. We’ve got probably the best back in the league. The offensive line has gotten better every week. Our tight ends are terrific on the edge, allowing us to get around the edge. There are a lot of great things in the running game we’ve developed and are getting better at and it can only help our passing game, obviously. I know this. It’s a lot of fun and a lot easier to call plays when you can mix it like we have."