The Chicago Bears have their best opportunity in more than a month to get back in the win column Sunday against the Detroit Lions, but in order to do so, they'll need something of a breakout performance from Mitch Trubisky and an offense that, according to NFL Network's Rich Eisen, has been smoked out by opposing coaches this season.
Eisen provided some insight into what could be the primary reason for the Bears' offensive regression in 2019; Chicago is the No. 29 in yards per game, No. 30 in passing yards per game and No. 28 in rushing. According to a coach with a Super Bowl ring on his resume, Matt Nagy's gimmick plays aren't working in his second season on the job.
"The coach used all these gimmicks last year and the rest of the league sniffed it out and Trubisky does not know how to do the basics because it was so gimmicky last year," Eisen said the coach, whom he wouldn't name, told him. "The offense this year has been smoked out, totally defrocked, and (Trubisky) when it comes to going through reads and progressions like regular basic football, can't do it. Isn't ready to do it. Isn't up for doing it in terms of successfully, not the 'want' to.
"The Bears need to be far more simplistic, pull it back, go basic and start from scratch."
None of this is all that earth-shattering, to be honest. Eisen, through his trusted source, is simply relaying what all Bears fans have witnessed for eight games: the offense isn't working.
It doesn't appear like the offense's failures are a result of failed trick plays, though. Instead, the struggles have spawned from a combination of troubling play-calling and poor execution. Much of the blame rightfully belongs to Nagy; whether's it's a lack of preparation from a strategic standpoint or his inability to get the players focused on the finer details of each play, at some point, poor coaching turns into poor execution on the field.
But a more fundamental (and troubling) concern is the play of Trubisky, who can't be trusted at this point to hit a wide-open target even when the right play is dialed up at the right time.
The final eight games of the season can quickly erase the narrative from the first eight. If Nagy gets his mojo back as a play-caller and Trubisky builds some momentum generated by accurate big-time throws, all the chatter about what's wrong with the Bears will flip into optimism around a young quarterback and ascending head coach.
Unfortunately, it's a big if right now. And no one expected that to be the tale of the midway point of 2019.