Do the Bears Miss Cutler in the Red Zone?

I thought Brad Biggs at the Chicago Tribune made an interesting point at the end of his answer to this question:

What do you think about Marc Trestman’s recent goalline play selection?” — @KtrainExpress from Twitter

“The Bears failed with two tries at a two-point conversion against the Lions and then failed to put the ball in the end zone after reaching the 6-yard line against the Ravens. They even got extra cracks at it following a holding penalty against Baltimore cornerback Jimmy Smith in the end zone. One thing is clear: Against those defenses the Bears didn’t feel like they were in a position to line up and power the ball between the tackles for a touchdown. This could be an area the team missed quarterback Jay Cutler too.”

Did the Bears miss Cutler here? I'm going to say, “Yes.” The windows through which a pass must fit in a throw into the end zone from a short field are necessarily tighter. Cutler frequently uses his arm strength to force the ball through such windows even when the Bears aren't in the red zone. Current starter Josh McCown has nowhere near that kind of arm talent.

Though its easy to blame lack of power on the offensive line (and not without reason), I'm wondering if it's McCown's deficiencies that are keeping the Bears out of the end zone inside the 10 yard line recently. It's going to be interesting to see what plan the Bears come up with to deal with this issue as McCown continues to start.

Fisher Thinks the Bears Pass Rush Is Disciplined

Adam Rams coach Jeff Fisher comments upon the Bears pass rush. Via Adam L. Jahns at the Chicago Sun-Times:

“Rams coach Jeff Fisher said it was difficult to judge the Bears’ pass rush against the Ravens because of the field conditions.

“But '[the Bears are] well-coached, they use real good rush integrity, [are] rarely out of their lanes [and] collapse the pocket very, very quick,' he said.”

Fisher's comment surprises me becasue what I saw against the Ravens was exactly the opposite. The defensive line, desparate to get pressure on Joe Flacco (and rightfully so) got a little undisiplined in their efforts. It looked to me like they frequently left gaps for Flacco to escape through to run for yardage.

Admittedly Flacco isn't the most mobile of quarterbacks and perhaps they thought they could get away with leaving him room to manuever if it meant they could be more active in the pass rush. Regardless, it will be interesting to see if anything changes this Sunday.