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Tactical Thinking Bears vs. Chargers: Welcome to the A-Rob Show

Allen Robinson has been the Bears’ top playmaker on offense this season. This should continue this against the Los Angeles Chargers.

New Orleans Saints v Chicago Bears Photo by Nuccio DiNuzzo/Getty Images

Last week just flat out sucked. There’s zero sugar coating here... a battered New Orleans Saints team embarrassed a rather healthy Chicago Bears unit which has underachieved up to this point in the season. Something has to change, and soon.

Luckily, the Bears will be hosting another slumping team at Soldier Field this weekend. The Los Angeles Chargers are currently 2-5 this season, despite having a top five pass defense and a top five passing offense. Sometimes, all it takes is one solid show of force to bring a team back together.

And, for the Bears, there has been one player on offense who’s been earning every cent of their contract.

Allen Robinson is a leader on and off the field

New Orleans Saints v Chicago Bears Photo by Nuccio DiNuzzo/Getty Images

Mitchell Trubisky has been a massive disappointment this season. Disappointing play from quarterbacks is something Allen Robinson has been used to throughout his career. To say he’s been one of Ryan Pace’s best free agent acquisitions is an understatement.

Through six weeks of the regular season, A-Rob has posted 464 yards and 3 touchdowns on 41 receptions. He’s on pace for posting over 1,200 yards and 8 touchdowns on 100+ receptions. That, frankly, would be one of the absolute best seasons we’ve seen from a Bears receiver in the 100-year history of this franchise.

Plus, he’s easily Mitchell Trubisky’s top target in the passing game. With all the setbacks we’ve witnessed — there’s too many to count as of now — the chemistry between #10 and #12 has been strong. Now, #10 just needs to make plays instead of outright missing his open targets.

Don’t let the numbers fool you...

Pittsburgh Steelers v Los Angeles Chargers Photo by Denis Poroy/Getty Images

On paper, the Los Angeles Chargers’ defense has been elite against the pass this season. They’ve given up the 5th fewest passing yards in the league, largely thanks to the monstrosity named Joey Bosa wrecking havoc on their defensive line. That being said, the numbers can be quite deceptive.

It’s not like receivers haven’t been able to get open in the Chargers’ secondary. Larger, more physical receivers like Kenny Golladay and Courtland Sutton have exerted their will against corners Casey Hayward Jr. and Michael Davis. What really kills the Chargers is when their opponents reach the red zone.

Per, the Chargers rank 28th in scoring percentage at 63.64%, and that percentage balloons on the road to a whopping 75% when defending their red zone. The challenge for the Bears has been getting to the red zone on offense. That’s where Allen Robinson’s talents get maximized for a team needing a spark.

Matt Nagy won’t care about the Chargers’ defensive rankings

New Orleans Saints v Chicago Bears Photo by Nuccio DiNuzzo/Getty Images

Lately, I’ve been pretty pissed off with the lack of a running game in Chicago. And, really, to expect anything different at this point would be a false promise I can’t make. Oh, the Chargers’ defense is tied for 21st against the run by the way....

Matt Nagy’s likely response:

Nagy will call pass plays like how sauce goes on top of cheese on a proper deep dish pizza. He’ll do it all day long, rationale and common sense be damned. I’m willing to bet he’s got Allen Robinson on his fantasy team(s) with the amount of routes featuring A-Rob streaking down the sideline.

For this game, that craziness just might work in his favor. When Robinson is healthy, he’s one of the most disciplined and explosive receivers in today’s game. Once he enters the red zone, you better believe he will get open.

If the Bears are going to win this game, it’ll be as a result from Robinson making the biggest plays in the most critical of moments at Soldier Field. It would certainly be REAL nice if Nagy finally makes a commitment to the run game; alas, his “Be You” mantra includes him passing while there’s still time on the clock. That’s just his coaching style up to this point.

It’s no secret that the Bears need to play better this season. In such a tough division, they’ll need to go on a similar 9-out-of-10 stretch like last year if the team hopes to reach the playoffs. Adversity, sometimes, brings the best out of teams. Allen Robinson isn’t new to adverse situations; he thrives in moments like these. He’ll light up the passing game enough to make a win possible on Sunday.

I, and a good majority of this fan base, are counting on him.