Chicago Bears: Shocking numbers prove Bill Lazor must keep calling plays

Chicago Bears (Quinn Harris-USA TODAY Sports)
Chicago Bears (Quinn Harris-USA TODAY Sports) /

What we saw from the Chicago Bears offense on Sunday was unlike anything we have seen in recent years, and hopefully, this type of game plan is here to stay.

Head coach Matt Nagy confirmed after the game that offensive coordinator Bill Lazor handled play-calling duties against the Lions, which was clear to Bears fans from the first drive.

If anybody noticed, Nagy wasn’t holding his “BE YOU” play sheet all game — a pretty easy giveaway.

Nonetheless, Chicago beat Detroit 24-14 and piled on the explosive plays. Lazor’s play calling was top notch in this one, as he began with the run and kept it going all game. He kept Justin Fields under center for much of the game, where he could then run play action — and it worked to perfection. Just how good was Lazor in this game? The numbers are shocking.

The Chicago Bears have to stick with Bill Lazor calling plays, because the numbers speak volumes.

The Bears were 6th in the NFL in yards per play (6.5) during Week 4.

To put this in perspective, the Bears finished 27th in 2020 and 31st in 2019 in this category. Running the ball well and running it often certainly helped here, as David Montgomery had one of his best games as a pro, and he didn’t even finish the afternoon before going down with a knee injury.

Establishing the run allowed Fields to open things up a lot — and his receivers came through with some big plays.

The Bears’ 188 rushing yards were the most they had rushed for as a team since Week 14 of 2018.

Speaking of the run game, Lazor’s commitment was a thing of beauty. Fields only attempted 17 passes, while the Bears ran it 39 times. Sure, they won’t be able to run it nearly 40 times per game every week this year, but it was working against Detroit — so they stuck to it.

The point of establishing the run, even if it doesn’t work as well in future weeks, is to be able to get Fields out in the open on play action. If he can run play action, use his legs to extend plays and find his guys open down field, it will all be worth it. The run game is crucial to this team’s success.

The Bears’ explosive play rate was 19% against the Lions, second to only the Dallas Cowboys (20%) in Week 4 (Sharp Football).

In 2020, the Bears were dead last in explosive play rate per Sharp Football. That is absolutely astounding. This was a rookie quarterback in just his second start. It doesn’t matter that it was against the Lions. His performance was downright impressive.

Fields made some fantastic throws in this game, and five of them were classified as explosive according to Sharp. Meanwhile, going back to the run, the Bears had six rushing plays qualify as explosive — giving them 11 explosive plays for the game.

Related Story. Bears: Montgomery’s injury not as serious. light

If these numbers don’t seal the deal for Lazor calling plays going forward, then nothing will. This week, we must see a commitment from Matt Nagy to allowing Lazor to continue calling plays. If we hear that, then confidence will continue to grow. Not only that, but Fields will continue to develop.