The Bears are off to one of the more eventful 1-1 starts in recent memory featuring two primetime games and filled with ups and downs. After an exciting offseason that brought in a new head coach and a plethora of new players, the Bears’ season is in full swing and there is plenty to talk about and dissect.
The Bears have to let Jordan Howard be Jordan Howard
One of the league’s most productive running backs wears number 24 and plays for the Chicago Bears. The Bears cannot forget this when designing their offensive gameplan. The strength of the Bears’ offense the last two seasons, albeit with a different system, has been the running game led by Howard.
Matt Nagy and the Bears seem to inexplicably veer away from Howard for prolonged stretches at times, and the offense is not the same when they do. Nagy, to his credit, admitted after the Week 1 loss at Green Bay that he should have called more running plays in certain situations. The Bears, after all, are built to run the football with a strong offensive line, especially in the middle.
There is a balance that needs to occur. Nagy is installing a new system and developing a second-year quarterback, but the job of Mitch Trubisky will become much easier when Howard is putting the Bears in a favorable down and distance and forcing the defense to respect the run.
One of, if not, the most impressive drives the Bears’ offense has put together took place late in the third and early fourth quarters vs. the Seahawks. Trubisky and company orchestrated an 11-play, 66-yard touchdown drive to secure a two-touchdown lead. On the drive, the Bears ran the ball seven times, including gains of five, six and seven yards by Howard. The drive concluded on a play action pass, which had the entire Seattle defense biting on the fake to Howard, allowing Trubisky to roll to his left and find an open Anthony Miller in the end zone for a 10-yard touchdown pass.
This was a textbook example of a strong running game setting up a downfield passing attack.
Mitch Trubisky has played two good halves of football
The talk around town through two weeks of the season has been the inconsistent play of Trubisky. At times, Trubisky has looked brilliant, and at others, the NFL game still seems a step too fast for the 24-year-old.
The quarterback’s play can be analyzed ad nauseum, but to simplify his first two games, he played a good first half against Green Bay and a good second half against Seattle. The other halves have been underwhelming.
Trubisky has 14 games at the NFL level and is learning his second offensive system. His head coach as a rookie put an emphasis on not turning the ball over, which inhibited the aggressive nature that led to him being taken with the second overall pick in the 2017 NFL draft.
Look for Trubisky to put together a complete game this week vs. the lowly Arizona Cardinals, and be the springboard to getting the entire offense up to speed.
Allen Robinson is as dependable of a receiver as there is. He consistently runs good routes and puts his body in position to be targeted and catch the ball. Look for more big games from him.
Cody Parkey hasn’t been talked about much, and that’s a good thing. He has started the year making all four of his field goal attempts.
It’s time to give James Daniels a look on the offensive line. While Eric Kush hasn’t been terrible, he hasn’t been great either. The Bears need to have their best five linemen on the field, and that should include Daniels either at guard or center.
Oh yeah, Khalil Mack is really good at football.
Rene Ortman says
Excellent analysis of the season so far.
Randy Hutson says
Except for his paycheck, it would be stressful to be Mitch Trubisky. He’s relatively inexperienced trying to learn a new system and new receivers in a division with other ace QBs. Not to mention inevitable comparisons to Patrick Mahomes and DeShaun Watson who were drafted after him. Plus every top pick QB has to start nowadays unlike just a few years ago when guys like Aaron Rogers sat for 3 years learning the system first. Talk about pressure!
Patrick J White says
As always, Ortman’s analysis is essential reading.
Andrew Ortman says
Michael Knapcik says
An inciteful analysis. Looking forward to next week’s comments!
Matthew Malcolm says
Bears memory was on January 21, 2007, when the Bears beat the Saints in the NFC Championship game to advance to the Super Bowl?