Bears point to progress in penalties
BY MARK POTASH Staff Reporter September 17, 2013 9:44PM
Bears coach Marc Trestman rued his team’s four giveaways in their 31-30 victory over the Vikings on Sunday — two interceptions and two lost fumbles. But the Bears are mitigating the damage with better discipline.
‘‘We had no pre-snap penalties,’’ Trestman said in a detailed review Monday at Halas Hall. ‘‘We played with very good discipline on defense, and amidst all of it, our entire team kept its composure.’’
Through two games, the Bears are one of two NFL teams without a false start this season (the 0-2 Carolina Panthers are the other). That’s a small sample but still a big deal for the Bears. They were seventh in the NFL with 25 false starts last season, with a league-high 12 stalled offensive drives (no first down after the penalty). The Bears ranked fourth, ninth, fourth, 13th and third in false starts in the five seasons before that.
After opening the season with two home games, playing road games against the Steelers at Heinz Field and the Lions at Ford Field will be a better test of the Bears’ discipline. But the early signs are positive.
The Bears have been penalized eight times for 94 yards this season (two penalties have been declined). They are the only team in the NFL that has not had an offensive drive stalled by penalty. Last year after two games, they had six.