There’s no way around it. Sunday’s game in London was embarrassing for the Chicago Bears. Aside from charging back in the game to take a 21-17 lead in the second half over the lowly Oakland Raiders, there were too many alarming things that the team put on film. Raiders coach Jon Gruden coached circles around Bears coach Matt Nagy in the first half. None of what we had seen from the Bears defense the past three games was present against Oakland.
Oakland’s rookie running back Josh Jacobs was getting what he wanted all night. The gameplay early was obvious, punish the Bears with constant misdirection. Moreover the Raiders neutralized the pass rush that had terrorized its first four opponents. The Bears failed to record a single sack Sunday.
The offense for a second consecutive week didn’t show up to play. The “just enough to get by” wasn’t enough to defeat the Raiders. In a week where the defense wasn’t at its historic level, the play of the offense was alarming.
The Offensive Line and the Run Game
The Bears only rushed for 42 yards on 17 carries. An unacceptable number for a team trying to manage the absence of starting quarterback Mitchell Trubisky. A running back room with David Montgomery and Tarik Cohen should never rush for 42 yards. This falls into the lap of the offensive line.
Adding rookie running back David Montgomery was one of the big talks of the Bears offseason. On the season however the Bears are only averaging 3.9 yards per carry. Through five games, the Bears have just 403 yards which is good for 26th in the league.
Cohen in particular is a player that hasn’t been able to get the footing he’s needed to be successful. Regarded by many to be the most electric player on the Bears team, Cohen has only amassed 37 rushing yards on the season but only with 17 carries. Combined Montgomery and Cohen only have 262 yards.
The bye week for the Bears is this coming week and will hopefully be used to answer many of the questions surrounding their defense of a division title. Being able to move the ball on the ground should be the mainstay of a team struggling to find an identity on offense.
Matt Nagy’s Response
As always the head coach will have to answer for the shortcomings of his football team. Matt Nagy, brought in to continue the development of Mitchell Trubisky and create offensive production is at a real fork in the road of his early Bears career. Nagy did not place the entirety of the blame on the offensive line but did say that players needed to start winning more of their matchups.
You’ve got to win your one-on-one battles, and that’s just not the offensive line, that’s everybody. Whenever you have some places within your game that are struggling, that’s immediately what you go to and so there is a challenge there for all of us to be better. Win your one-on-one battle. You win your one-on-one battle then good things should happen.