Payton Presser: Bears need a wake-up call
After a week off and time to lick their wounds from their London journey, I was hoping that Matt Nagy and his staff would get things back on track in Week 7. So much for hoping. The performance of his team on Sunday at Soldier Field was heartbreaking. All season long, I’ve been telling myself that the Bears are better then what we’ve seen. But are they really? The truth is, their record gives you a clear indication of who they are right now. If you dig deeper, there are some other issues that have this team sitting with a 3-3 record. Let’s dig into some of those issues from the Bears 36-25 loss to the Saints. This won’t be fun, but stick with me.
The Trubisky Report
Let’s be honest here, folks. Mitchell Trubisky has not made the jump to where we all hoped he would be this season. The progression I was looking for has been overshadowed by the regression. Right now, Trubisky is holding back this Bears offense. His inabilities are causing Nagy to limit the plays he calls. The game plans when number 10 is under center, are all about short throws. When there are chances downfield, Trubisky hasn’t shown he’s able to connect on those throws. Trubisky can’t shake his inconsistent play. He finished the game tossing the ball 54 times, connecting on 34 of those for 251 yards and 2 TDs. The one thing that has changed this season is the amount of passes Trubisky is throwing. 54 times is way too many in my opinion. Another thing we are not seeing is his ability to make plays with his feet. Nagy isn’t off the hook for his play calling. But if he’s limited because of the QB’s limitations, the issues we’ve seen with the Bears offense won’t be changing anytime soon.
Run Game is Still Missing
The lack of a running game seems to be one of the biggest mysteries of this season. For the first seven weeks of the season, I’ve been pleading with Nagy to please find a way to commit to the run game. My request so far has fallen on deaf ears. Sunday against the Saints, the Bears rushed the ball a total of 7 times for 17 yards. Rookie running back David Montgomery had just 2 carries for 6 yards. That’s unacceptable. People keep asking why this offense is broken. It’s because there is no balance in Nagy’s play calling. A running game creates a rhythm and flow for an offense to be successful. There is no flow whatsoever. The Bears will not win a bunch of games if Trubisky is asked to throw the ball 50-plus times a game. Why not try giving Montgomery 20-plus touches and see how things turn out?
Another Rough Game for the Defense
The Bears defense has not been themselves the last two games. Sunday against the Saints, the struggles continued as they gave up 424 total yards and 36 points. Chuck Pagano’s unit can’t keep their level of play if the offense can’t sustain drives and keep them off the field drinking Gatorade a little longer. Let’s be honest, this defense is different without Akiem Hicks in the lineup. Even without Drew Brees, Alvin Kamara and Jared Cook, the Saints and Teddy Bridgewater executed their game plan which resulted in a fifth straight victory. Am I worried about the defense? That depends on if the Bears offense can step up. The defense has the guys to turn things around and it starts with number 52. When you’re not hearing his name all game, you can bet the Bears will be on the receiving end of a loss.
This Bears team has some soul-searching to do as they get ready for the Chargers this Sunday. The talk in the locker room is that the issues they are having are fixable. I believe that. The issues on offense are the most glaring at the moment. The Bears are the only NFL team yet to gain 300 yards on offense in a single game this season. That wasn’t supposed to be the case in year two under Matt Nagy. The Bears head coach is going to have to change his philosophy because what is happening right now is not working. I love this team just like you do. Last Sunday truly hurt and felt like we fell back into the John Fox era. This team is better than they’ve been playing this season. Moving forward, no option should be off the table in making this team better. Take a hard look at yourself. Sometimes this brings out tough decisions that need to be made. Getting better is the name of the game and making sure the product on the field is where it needs to be. Let’s see how this team reacts to back-to-back losses. The season isn’t over, but another loss would really make the second half of the season a frustrating one. ‘Till next time, Bears fans. #Beardown