Well that’s not how any of us expected that game to go.
Credit to the Packers, they had a good game plan and clearly came into Chicago prepared and ready to play, which is more than I can say for our Bears. It’s never fun losing to the Packers, it’s even worse when they play that poorly.
I made a delicious steak cooked to a perfect medium rare for my pregame meal and washed it down with a nice tall glass of whiskey. In hindsight, it should have been taller because there was not a lot of “good” in this one.
I’ll skip past the offense for now (don’t worry, we’ll get to them) and just focus on the defense. Lost in all the panic about the offense’s ineptitude is the fact that the defense picked up right where they left off last season. They didn’t create any takeaways but consistently pressured Aaron Rodgers and, with the exception of one drive, covered fairly well.
Leading the way was fourth-year outside linebacker Leonard Floyd with two sacks on the night. It seems like we’ve been waiting for Floyd to breakout his entire career and this might be the year he finally does. The speed that has tantalized us for three seasons was on full display in this one but he finally showed he could convert that speed to power consistently (as seen in the play below) which was my main concern with him in the past.
#Bears–#Packers — OLB Leonard Floyd. Two sacks last night. Using speed-to-power on this rep. @NFLMatchup pic.twitter.com/uFauEw4fnz
— Matt Bowen (@MattBowen41) September 6, 2019
Most of Floyd’s sacks in his career have been coverage sacks or come from stunts to confuse the offensive line. It’s refreshing to see him beat one of the top left tackles in all of football for a quick sack.
The front seven as a whole played extremely well with Roy Robertson-Harris and Roquan Smith also standing out. Robertson-Harris is going to have a nice career, unfortunately, it will most likely be with another team starting next season.
And now we get to the offense.
I could have gone in a lot of different directions here but I will go with the play of the quarterback Mitch Trubisky. Quarterback is the most important position on the field and he simply did not do enough for the Bears to win. In this case, “enough” was only 11 points. Not exactly a high bar to clear.
Trubisky completed 57.8 percent of his passes for 228 yards and an interception. As crazy as it sounds, that stat line looks better than it actually was. The Packers dropped two or three interceptions and Trubisky did not look comfortable in the pocket.
Trubisky continues to be a one-read and run quarterback which is not going to win a lot of games.
He takes too long to come off of his first read and then immediately looks to scramble. This is something you can deal with for a rookie passer or even last season when he was in the first year of the offense … But we’re in year three now … It is ok as fans to expect more out of Trubisky at this point. I know Trubisky expects more out of himself, and hopefully, he bounces back.
It was a tough competition for ugliest part of this game with pretty much every aspect of the offense staking a claim to the title. So I’ll include a couple of items in this section.
First up is reigning coach of the year, Matt Nagy.
Nagy did not put Trubisky and the offense in the best position to succeed. Plain and Simple. The Bears dropped back to throw 53 times (45 pass attempts) and only had 12 designed runs. Tarik Cohen, the Bears most explosive playmaker, did not have a rushing attempt which is inexcusable.
Now, some of those passes were likely run-pass options. But even taking that into account that is still too lopsided for a game that, for most of the game, was only a four-point deficit.
It is even more concerning given the fact that the Packers were in their dime defense (six defensive backs, five defensive line and linebackers) for most of the game. Any teenager in their parent’s basement playing Madden knows you want to run the ball against that defense.
He also had some questionable decision making. The two that stood out the most was using Cordarrelle Patterson in third and short and not kicking a 51 field goal that would have made it a one-point game.
After Nagy, the most disappointing and ugly aspect of the game was the number of mental mistakes. Miscommunications along the offensive line and penalties (10 for 107 yards) put the Bears in a lot of third and long situations.
A team should never face a First-and-40.
Overall, the Bears were equally brilliant defensively as they were anemic offensively. The Offense will improve simply because it cannot get any worse. If they put up even average offensive numbers and the defensive continues to prove last year wasn’t a fluke this team will win double-digit games. The question is do they have enough offensively to win a Super Bowl?
We won’t know the answer to that question anytime soon.
Your points are spot-on, and I completely agree. I would add that I was open minded to Nagy’s idea of no starters playing in pre-season. Seeing the results of this game, it is apparent that worked fine for the defense, but the offense was another story. Trubisky was out of sync, the o-line was missing assignments and penalized too much, and there was little separation created by anyone not named Robinson. I honestly believe that a few quarters of play in pre-season would have cleaned a lot of that up. Staring down your receivers and not rapidly progressing to secondary options are quarterback weaknesses not easily remedied. That should be in the rear view mirror for a third year quarterback.