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Notes from Bears vs Buccaneers: And could the Bears be the Raiders?

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Chicago Bears v Tampa Bay Buccaneers Photo by Brian Blanco/Getty Images

I think Andrew’s headline nailed it when he said that the Chicago Bears 29-7 loss on Sunday to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers wasn’t even that close.

When watching the game, I never got the sense that the Bears had a chance once the Bucs scored their first touchdown. It was only 10-0 after the first quarter, but I just don’t have much confidence in Chicago’s offense to move the ball.

Before I get into some bullet points about the game, I wanted to share something I fired off on Twitter yesterday.

When I look at this Bears’ team, I still see them in the middle of a rebuild. General manager Ryan Pace inherited a bad roster and I knew it would take some time to turn things around. I recently found a parallel between what is happening with the Oakland Raiders and what I hope could happen in Chicago.

Let me explain.

The Raiders hired first time GM Reggie McKenzie in 2012. In their previous thirteen years, the Raiders had only made the postseason three times, with one lost Super Bowl appearance during that time.

In 2015, the Bears hired first time GM Ryan Pace, and in Chicago’s thirteen previous seasons they only had three playoff appearances, with one Super Bowl loss during that time.

McKenzie brought in a new coach in 2012 and his Raiders only won eight games during his first two years.

Pace cleaned house as well in 2015, and the Bears only won nine games during his first two years.

In McKenzie’s third year on the job (2014), he identified a quarterback in the draft that he felt could be the future for the franchise. They drafted Derek Carr in the second round, and even though the Raiders signed veteran Matt Schaub to be their starting QB, Carr beat the veteran out after a really good preseason. Carr started all 16 games that year, and the team went 3-13. He compiled a 76.6 passer rating, which was 30th in the NFL. Carr’s receiving corps consisted of 30 year old James Jones, Andre Holmes, Brice Butler, Kenbrell Thompkins, and Denarius Moore.

In Pace’s third year on the job (2017), he identified the QB he felt would be his future when they picked Mitchell Trubisky with the 2nd overall pick in the draft. The Bears signed Mike Glennon to be the starting QB, and even though Trubisky had an impressive preseason, and he grew more than the coaches could have imagined, Glennon kept the job. The Bears are 0-2 so far this year and their injury plagued receiving corps is led by Kendall Wright.

If Carr was able to throw to Jones and whoever those other wide outs are, then Trubisky could probably be OK throwing to Wright and whoever the Bears trot out there.

After getting some growing pains out of the way as a rookie, Carr’s passer rating jumped to 91.1 his second season, and the Raiders won seven games. Oh yeah, one more thing, Reggie McKenzie fired his head coach after year three, and brought in Jack Del Rio to lead the Raiders in 2015 (McKenzie’s 4th season).

Pace’s fourth season is yet to be seen, but I’d say the odds are high that a coaching change is a possibility. There’s also a chance that Trubisky will have played at some point. Right?

During the fifth year of the Raider rebuild (2016), the team went 12-4 and made the playoffs. Carr’s passer rating went up again, this time to 96.7.

Pace’s fifth year will also be Trubisky’s third season, so if he hit on the pick, we should know it by 2019.

We’re now in McKenzie’s sixth year, the Raiders are 2-0, and one of the more exciting teams in the NFL.

What will the future hold for Pace and Trubisky? I’m still not sure, but I’m ready to find out.

On to my notes.

  • Even though Glennon went over 300 yards, his deficiencies were evident. He seemed to lock on to targets, he missed some wide open players, and his lack of mobility hurt him. With three turnovers I would imagine head coach John Fox is close to pulling the trigger. Fox claims it won’t be this week, but he’s a coach that values ball security in his QBs. If Glennon can’t take care of the ball, what is stopping Fox from making a change?
  • To be fair to Glennon, his receivers didn’t help him out much. Pro Football Focus had the Bears down for seven drops.
  • Jordan Howard was a non factor in the game, then he was seen leaving with his arm in a sling. As much as I like seeing the rookie Tarik Cohen play, I don’t want to see him on the field this much.
  • That punt return fiasco by Cohen was one of the dumbest things I’ve ever seen on the football field. I coached high school and youth football for a combined eight years, and I never had a kid pull that crap.

Our very own EJ had a take on that.

But with that being said, Cohen will learn. We’ll just have to watch him go through his growing pains as a rookie.

  • Early in the game the Bears had Howard in the I formation with Cohen on the wing. They gave to Howard with Cohen running a fake end around. Had teh run game done anything , I wonder if they would have some back to this formation.
  • The lack of a running game is killing the play action opportunities. Tight end Dion Sims was a non-factor. Although I did like the wrinkle I saw of him motioning back to the H-Back spot.
  • I wonder if Danny Trevathan was being flagged for holding because he was gassed form the heat, or if he’s not 100% after the knee injury?
  • I can’t stand the Bears moving center Cody Whitehair all over their interior. He played center and both guard spots yesterday.
  • There was no reason not to play Trubisky in the second half, but when Fox kept him on the bench to start the third, I figured he’d come in after it was 29-0 with about 12 minutes left in the game. That didn’t happen either. The Buccaneers were content to play a soft zone at that point in the game, which is the reason Glennon was able to go 16 of 25 for 166 yards, 1 TD and a passer rating of 96.4.
  • The Buccaneers got to Glennon for a sack in the first half, and they were credited with 8 quarterback hits in the first half as well. Guess how many times Glennon was hit in the second half?

None.

The narrative that Trubisky would have got killed playing the fierce pass rush of the Bucs is bogus. That game was over when it was 26-0 at the half and the Buccaneers’ defense was content to play back and keep the ball in front of them.

Trubisky should have played.