The Chicago Bears were humiliated at home late-Sunday afternoon as they lost to the New Orleans Saints 36-25. Although they lost by just 11 points, Chicago was actually down by 26 points before two garbage-time touchdowns by the offense. Quarterback Mitchell Trubisky will be viewed as the main culprit for the offense’s struggles, but the entire offense including the head coach should shoulder the blame.
Through six games this season, the Bears offense has eight passing touchdowns and just two rushing touchdowns. The offense has not generated more than 300 yards of offense in any game this season. Chicago’s offense on Sunday had just SEVEN (7) rushing attempts as Trubisky finished with 54 passing attempts.
As fans and the media look ready to give up on Trubisky following another inconsistent and inaccurate game, head coach Matt Nagy deserves to share the blame. The main reason why he was hired was to develop Chicago’s quarterback. In their second season together, both have regressed than progressed. outside of the second quarter of the week three game against Washington, Chicago has not had any consistency on offense.
Nagy’s play calling and utilization of his players have been off all season. Too many times he has called running plays for Tarik Cohen in between the tackles. He also has called too many failed running plays for wide receivers Anthony Miller and Cordarrelle Patterson. Against the Saints, a rushing attempt by Miller led to a lost fumble recovered by the Saints.
The passing game has suffered due to a lack of a running game. Outside of Allen Robinson, none of the team’s wide receivers or tight ends are finding any separation. Rookie running back David Montgomery, who was compared to former Chiefs running back Kareem Hunt due to his pass-catching ability, has been underutilized in the passing game. Nagy has called too many stationary routes for speedy wide receivers. Last season wide receiver Taylor Gabriel had four catches of 30 yards or longer through the team’s first six games.
Nagy was successful in Kansas City due to his ability to call vertical passing routes that stretched the field. That has been rarely seen through his team’s first six games this year. The tight end position is key to his offense’s success, but Trey Burton has been used on more horizontal routes rather than vertical routes.
Trubisky deserves blame as he has been widely inaccurate and has had a breakdown in his mechanics. There have been many times both last season and this season where he has missed wide-open targets down the field for big gains. Nagy has seemed to handicap his quarterback as there appears to be no desire to have Trubisky throw downfield now.
The main reason why Trubisky’s failures aren’t solely his responsibility is that he had shown progression in his two seasons prior. In his rookie season, he was coached by Dowell Loggains and did not have any reliable receivers to throw to. Despite those hardships, many still saw enough to believe that he was going to mature. last season, Trubisky passed for 24 touchdowns with 12 interceptions but also was named to the Pro-Bowl.
Chicago’s quarterback does deserve to be criticized for his current bad play, but his head coach should not get a free pass. Backup quarterback Chase Daniel has also been inconsistent for the Bears when forced into action both this season and last season. Nagy was Daniel’s quarterback coach when he was in Kansas City from 2013 to 2015.
Trubisky and the offense have 10 games to turn their season around and show that 2018 was not a fluke. Nagy needs to fix his offense or he may join former Bears coach Marc Trestman as a second-year failure. The Bears quarterback and coach are in this together, and both deserve to share the responsibility of their offense’s current stagnant state.