It’s the holiday season, folks. Every year we bear witness to at least one team in the NFL going from irrelevance to playoff participation by season’s end. With six games left in the season, anything can happen, even for the Chicago Bears.
Maybe. Maybe not. It sure as hell beats what I along with the rest of the fanbase put up with these previous four weeks.
Will this offense break (good) records the rest of the way? Absolutely not. Will it improve just enough to get out of the defense’s way to win games? Perhaps. I do not have any sort of crystal ball, advanced metrics, or future telling in my list of capabilities. And I don’t care.
This is a probable admission of failure by the coaching staff in how they handled the transition at both the QB position and the rest of the offense since week three. For as ugly as it seemed in weeks one through three, there was an identity on offense being created - feed the backfield and use balance in the passing game. The running game, led by David Montgomery, featured a healthy 4.4 yard per carry. The mix of traditional under-center looks and a simplistic set of route concepts did it’s job.
Then, it vanished, along with any “offense” in Chicago.
There is no question Mitchell Trubisky deserved to be benched due to his performance at Atlanta. His latest pass was picked off in one of the most basic zone coverage concepts in football. All it ever took for Trubisky to be demoted in 2020 was one heinously stupid play. I will commend the Bears’ coaching staff for holding him accountable.
As it turned out, even in his ugliest of moments, Trubisky had the spark Nick Foles simply couldn’t produce consistently past the Tampa Bay game. He, Trubisky, has always been a likeable guy. Foles, in my personal opinion at least, has not. Forget his Super Bowl MVP heroics, what has he done lately? Nothing.
Matt Nagy’s offense, in his own interpretation and paired with Nick Foles, simply didn’t work. Bill Lazor’s play calling, at least in his first game, seemed like a poor fit for Nick Foles as well. Bootlegs, roll-outs with moving pockets, quickly timed and traditional hi-low concepts all fit to “Tru’s” strengths.
Going from 5-1, to 5-5, is unacceptable. It was way past time for a vast amount of change on offense. Unlike 2019, when we were all given a sales pitch every week by Matt Nagy, definitive actions have been taken. First, Nagy gave up play-calling responsibilities to Bill Lazor. Now, they’re going back to what worked earlier in the season, with a QB that can add a positive spark.
I publicly challenged Matt Nagy to hold Nick Foles responsible in the same way he held Mitchell Trubisky. I, most certainly, was fed up with what was happening on offense. If you perform poorly, then its the bench for you. Never mind the questions related to each players’ health. This was Foles’s job to lose, and he’s lost it. Meanwhile, Trubisky gets one last shot at his job. Conventional wisdom, be damned.
This team hasn’t had any energy on offense in five of seven games started by Nick Foles as the team’s replacement option at quarterback. Once again, Matt Nagy has openly parted ways with his previous mindset, and appears open to letting the Bears’ offense figure itself out. Even if it means running the ball in the “I” formation, and contradicting his own QB DNA, he’s willing to accept change in a trade for winning games.
With a return to Mitch on offense, we might see more explosive plays from the Bears’ receiving corps. Darnell Mooney, for instance, was looking to be gaining good chemistry with Mitchell Trubisky early on. Allen Robinson, meanwhile, has always been Trubisky’s favorite target. Obviously, it all depends on if Trubisky can hit his open receivers with accurate throws.
Will this latest development change how I feel about the Bears’ QB situation moving forward? Absolutely not; the reset button needs to be pressed, and that’s highly likely out of necessity. Ryan Pace, in layman’s terms, has screwed up royally. Jay Cutler isn’t stepping back into Halas Hall, either. A real answer needs to be found in 2021.
I digress. We’ve been witness to some of the worst offensive football in the history of the Chicago Bears. Maybe, just maybe, something will happen these next six weeks that’ll spur a comeback to play more football in January. Or, it will all fail, and everyone gets cleaned out of Halas Hall.
Whatever happens, happens. Go give ‘em hell, Mitch. Let’s see if this results in a God-given spark that makes Sunday Night interesting in Green Bay.