Normally, one game of football should not be taken out of its own context. What happened yesterday on Monday Night Football was not normal. The Chicago Bears put on an offensive clinic with a backup quarterback, in Green bay, Wisconsin during a nationally-televised game. Marc Trestman is a football hero.
In the past 20 years, one would be hard-pressed to pinpoint another game in which the Bears offense looked as fluid as Josh McCown and company did last night. The play-calling from Trestman was nothing short of spectacular, and the execution excellent.
The Bears were more of a dangerous modern NFL offense than would have seemed possible just eight games into Trestman’s rookie season as head coach.
Robbie Gould’s fieldgoal capped-off the most impressive feat of the night for the Bears: an 8:58 drive which left the Packers trailing by seven, with no timeouts and only a minute to play. Trestman’s offense held the ball for a total of 33:09, compared to Green Bay’s 26:51, and completed the game without a turnover.
More impressive, and reassuring, than the victory itself however, is the fact that Marc Trestman appears to have been a stellar hire by GM Phil Emery. 2013 has been bumpy for the Chicago Bears, but Trestman has clearly demonstrated his ability to run an NFL offense successfully.
Following some of Jay Cutler’s best performances in a Bears uniform, Trestman proved his genius as he unleashed McCown upon Lambeau Field. The backup QB, who was – now famously- coaching high school football when the Bears added him to the roster two years ago, got into an early comfort zone as Trestman called a high volume of passing plays to open the game. The offense never looked back.
Brandon Marshall, Matt Forte, and Alshon Jeffery each contributed touchdowns, while Martellus Bennett continued to prove productive. Trestman has his team prepared and buying-in to this offense, and it is clearly working. On top of the overall production the offense has shown thus far, two other trends speak volumes about the job Trestman has done so far.
The offensive line has played consistently well throughout the first half of this season, and brilliantly kept McCown unscathed for a vast majority of last night’s game. Likewise, the Bears boast some of the best run-blocking wide receivers in the NFL; Marshall (1st), Jeffery (7th) and Earl Bennett (10th) are all among the NFL’s ten best in that category. Such improvements do not happen by mistake.
The Bears’ talent-level has risen, and the right man has been put in charge of harnessing that talent. This points to another positive for the organization, as Phil Emery has put his thumbprint on this team in less than two full seasons.
While Emery can be criticized for some questionable draft picks, the immediate impact Kyle Long and Jordan Mills have had cannot be overlooked, and Jeffery has continued to blossom into a play-making NFL receiver. The free agency additions of Martellus Bennett and Jermon Bushrod have been huge, as expected, but the signing of the off-season for Emery may be Matt Slauson, who has been surprisingly dominant for the Bears.
Receiving such an early return on a second-year GM and first-year head coach is certainly a promising sign for Bears fans. Although the defense is at best suspect, Trestman knows what he wants from his offense, and has been able to get it from the players Emery has provided.
The new era of Chicago Bears football has begun. In this day and age, offenses win Championships in the NFL, and the future is starting to look rather bright for Trestman and Chicago.