And to think, the New Orleans Saints had the offense that came in shorthanded to Sunday’s game at Soldier Field.
The Chicago Bears’ offense looks broken. Last season, Matt Nagy was NFL Coach of the Year and Mitchell Trubisky was in the Pro Bowl. While Trubisky is the one getting booed by Bears fans for every throw he misses and every sack he takes — and on Sunday, there were many chances to boo — nobody in the Bears offense looks good. Including the coach.
Chicago fell to 3-3 with a rough 36-25 loss to the Saints. With less than 13 minutes left in the fourth quarter, the Bears had 94 yards and four first downs. A couple meaningless touchdowns at the end won’t fix anything. The Saints lost Drew Brees and they’re 5-0 without him. Against the Bears they didn’t have phenomenal running back Alvin Kamara, who was out with a high ankle sprain, or tight end Jared Cook either.
And yet, it was the Bears’ offense that looked anemic.
What’s wrong with the Bears offense?
Nagy was celebrated for his magic on the sideline last season, leading the Bears to an NFC North title. That immediate success took expectations to a higher level, and the Bears aren’t living up to them. Though, no matter the preseason expectations, this offense wouldn’t fly in Chicago.
Let’s start with the running game. Over the offseason the Bears traded away Jordan Howard. The Bears got a conditional 2020 sixth-round pick that could improve to a fifth-rounder. Howard couldn’t catch the ball, and therefore wasn’t a fit in Nagy’s offense. The Bears drafted David Montgomery in the third round. Montgomery has done very little, and he had a costly fumble on Sunday. The Bears can’t run the ball and rarely tried Sunday. Chicago had 17 rushing yards on only seven attempts. According to Kevin Fishbain of The Athletic, that’s the fewest rushing attempts in Bears history, and that covers a lot of games. Meanwhile, Howard is having a good season for the Philadelphia Eagles.
The absolute lack of a running game isn’t ideal for anyone but can be overcome if the quarterback is transcendent. That’s not the case in Chicago, as the fans will let you know.
Trubisky came back from a left non-throwing shoulder injury on Sunday. He was bad. Trubisky missed plenty of passes that a quarterback needs to make. On one, Anthony Miller got deep and was wide open, and Trubisky overthrew him by a few yards.
Last season, Trubisky looked like he was developing. He was still far from a finished product, but there were signs of progress. He has taken a step back from that progress and then some. It was surprising the Bears didn’t bench Trubisky for Chase Daniel at any point Sunday.
Mitchell Trubisky has regressed
Trubisky was the second pick of the draft, and it’s looking like a mistake. Trubisky is still early in his career but this season has been a clear step back. It looks worse every time someone brings up that the Bears passed on Deshaun Watson and Patrick Mahomes to draft Trubisky.
It’s hard to know what the correct ratio of blame is for the Bears. Nagy hasn’t looked like the genius that was the talk of the NFL last season. He doesn’t want to commit to the running game and hasn’t generated a lot of easy passes for his quarterback. But, it’s hard to call run plays when none of them work, and whenever the Bears have a pass play that looks like a winner, Trubisky has either missed the read or hasn’t hit the pass.
Sean Payton has been one of the NFL’s best coaches for a while, and he’s having a tremendous season. Without Brees, the Saints haven’t had a great offense but it has been good enough. New Orleans’ defense has been very good. For a moment it looked like New Orleans might be in some trouble with Brees out due to thumb surgery, but now they look like a Super Bowl favorite considering Brees will come back soon. It’s an impressive job by Payton and his staff.
There was a big difference in coaching Sunday. The Saints had a big edge at quarterback too, even though they’re using backup Teddy Bridgewater. There’s not much to like about the Bears now, particularly on offense, and the fans weren’t holding back their feelings about it on Sunday.
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