Welcome to Will’s Wednesday Wisdom, where we take a deeper look on a particular game trend that might not have stood out on gameday, but either played a large role in the outcome of the game, or could play a large role as the season goes on.
If you are a Bears fans and reading this, I credit you … Rehashing Thursday is not an easy thing to do.
I imagine by now you’ve heard plenty about Mitch Trubisky’s ability to be Chicago’s signal-caller and whether or not Nagy can consistently create a good gameplan. I’ve had enough of that storyline. For me, the questions that I had regarding Thursday’s game had to do with which supporting players were on the field.
Here’s a closer look at a few whacky personnel decisions made by the Bears on Thursday:
Let’s get the obvious one in my eyes out in the open. David Montgomery only played 38 percent of Chicago’s offensive snaps. He may be a rookie, but he clearly had the most juice outside of Allen Robinson.
The entire running back situation was suspect, to begin with, but for someone like Nagy to keep the “hot hand” on the bench doesn’t make sense to me.
Now, should the Bears want to get pass-happy like they were on Thursday, I would figure that second-year receiver Anthony Miller would play a large role. Instead, Miller took the field for less than a quarter of the team’s snaps. While the offensive line didn’t have a great outing, I simply don’t understand why more three-receiver sets didn’t include someone who proved he could be a matchup nightmare.
Why trade up and get a guy in the second round if you don’t trust him to spark an offense that needs to get in gear?
As far as one particular player, the only standout here is Roy Robertson-Harris. He only took the field for 26 of the defense’s 64 snaps. In those snaps, Roberston-Harris tallied three tackles, two TFLs and one sack.
This is admittedly a team with a decent amount of depth on the defensive front, but in a defensive struggle, I’m riding with the man who will make explosive plays.
Aside from Roberston-Harris, my questions on personnel revolve around when and why. Ha Ha Clinton-Dix only missed four snaps in the game, but one of them was probably the biggest turning point in the game.
Out of a timeout to start Green Bay’s first drive of the second quarter, Aaron Rodgers launches a 47-yard bomb to Marquez Valdes-Scantling, which immediately put the Packers on Chicago’s 27-yard line.
I like Deon Bush, but why is Clinton-Dix on the bench out of a timeout?
I could have understood being tired, but this is the first play of Green Bay’s drive, and there were just two timeouts (one for the quarter and one taken by Green Bay). Additionally, Khalil Mack was off the field on this play as well.
Rotating two of your top players on the same play is kind of asking for trouble, and that’s what Rodgers delivered.
How to take this going forward
I’m hoping Thursday is an outlier in every sense of the game. Trubisky’s performance, Nagy’s gameplan, and obviously the result on the scoreboard.
For Montgomery, I expect this game to be an outlier. He will likely ease into more playing time as he earns Nagy’s trust. However, I’m not sure the same can be said about Miller and Robertson-Harris. The two players are veterans with great talent, yet they seem to lack trust from the coaching staff.
Between the two, the most alarming is Miller since his talent should have him on the field miles ahead of Cordarrelle Patterson and Javon Wims. Miller and Nagy have clearly experienced a disconnect during the offseason, but football isn’t about making friends, it’s about getting results.
Miller is a man who can get results.