There’s no debating that the Chicago Bears have been one of the better teams in the entire NFL in the first half of the season, their Sunday night loss to the Houston Texans notwithstanding. But one aspect of this team has been very, very suspect: the playcalling of Mike Tice on offense.
There’s a reason that many Bears fans had reservations when Tice was promoted from offensive line coach to offensive coordinator. He’s done nothing to stifle those concerns early in the season.
Though their offensive line has still been plagued by its typical struggles, this Bears offense finally has the pieces in place to be a successful unit. But, aside from the current injury to Jay Cutler, they’ve been held back from the playcalling of Mike Tice.
The first issue I take with Tice is the absence of a running game. This offense is built to go through Matt Forte and Michael Bush, but neither have seen consistent carries. Forte has been great when he’s touched the ball, but his carries have been somewhat limited. And Bush is probably wondering why he signed with the Bears at this point, given his limited touches.
Aside from neglecting the run the actual calling of plays has been very questionable. Tice runs when he should pass, passes when he should run. Bush was brought in for short yardage situations, yet we haven’t seen much of him being utilized that way. Instead a 3rd and 2 play turns into an incomplete pass 25 yards downfield.
The Chicago Bears are one of the worst teams offensively in the first half of football games. Teams know what to expect and are unafraid of the Bears’ offense. Tice lacks imagination.
Tice has done some good things in this offense. Cutler has more freedom to call his own plays. But even Mike Martz made adjustments. In no way was that an endorsement of Martz, but we have yet to see any sort of adjustments from Tice on the offensive side of the ball.
If the Bears continue to prove inconsistent on offense, and it costs them a shot at a potential championship this season, Mike Tice will be seriously re-evaluated.