Payton Presser: The Bears are still searching for answers
Are you tired of losing, Bears fans? No need to answer that. I know you are. Same goes for me with Matt Nagy’s squad. The Bears hoped that a trip to Philadelphia would be a chance to right the ship and stop their 3-game losing streak. They weren’t so lucky. Another poor performance lead to Nagy’s team falling to the Eagles 22-14, a 4-game losing streak, 3-5 record, and a season that’s spiraling out of control. What’s next for this team? To be honest, I’m lost just like you are right now. Entering the 2019 season, the vision was a trip to Miami for the Super Bowl. Now, the mindset is how can they make some progress with the games left on the schedule. Let’s jump into my takeaways from the brutal loss in Philly.
It was the tale of two halves for Mitchell Trubisky. Number 10 looked lost and showed no confidence in the first half, passing for 24 yards and leading the Bears to just a single first down. It wasn’t all his fault. His offensive line was shaky, to say the least, as were some of his big-name players like Tarik Cohen, who dropped two passes. Ultimately, Trubisky completed 10 of 21 passes for 125 yards on Sunday. Trubisky was especially brutal in the first half with the Bears netting only 9 total yards of offense. In the second half, we saw Trubisky turn it on a little bit. But that’s the issue, consistency. Where was that play to start the game? The offense has been flat out the gate all season long. The Bears selected him number 2 overall. It’s not his fault where he was drafted. But where he was selected comes with expectations that he hasn’t been able to live up to in a Bears uniform. The fact that I heard conversations at halftime wondering if we see Chase Daniel to start the second half showed me where the faith is when it comes to number 10. So what now? The Bears have to give him this season to see if he can finish strong. No changing of the guard. Why not? Chase Daniel isn’t the long-term answer and this team would have to run the table to make it to the post season. So why not let this all play itself out. I want to see if 10 can change the minds of a lot Bears fans that tell me they’ve seen enough.
The Running Back
The Bears offense has not figured out the right balance between the run and pass game, and taking that further, the distribution between the players in each skill position. David Montgomery had 14 of the 18 run plays Sunday against Philadelphia, racking up 40 yards on the ground and catching 3 passes for 36 yards. With him becoming the featured back, Nagy has not been able to bring the best out of his gadget man Cohen. Over the last few weeks, we’ve seen Cohen’s percentage of snaps fall. After being the Bears main offensive target last season, Cohen has just 26 carries and 51 targets this season. The goal for Nagy wasn’t just to help Trubisky take it to another level, but also Cohen as well as the rest of the offense. Where has Mike Davis been all season long? The million dollar investment this past offseason didn’t even see the field on Sunday in Philly. Not sure what’s going on. But with so many talented backs on the roster, they should be the position group carrying this team.
The Bears defense isn’t the same from the 2018 season. The 2019 season has posed some challenges they didn’t expect to encounter. Last year’s unit not only created takeaways, but they put points on the board as well. This season, which was supposed to be even better, they’ve struggled to force any turnovers, much less points. In the first half they gave up plenty of yards, but managed to hold Philadelphia to 12 points. The Bears offense isn’t helping with their issues because every weekend they’re exhausted before halftime. The offense’s inability to put drives together is really taking a toll on Chuck Pagano’s unit. I will give them some slack there. But at the end of the game, when the Bears needed them to make a stop, they couldn’t make it happen. On the final drive of the game, the Eagles converted four 1st downs in a row in a 16-play, 69-yard drive that took up just over 8 minutes. They also had their fair share of miscues and penalties throughout the game. Still, the pressure is always on them to carry this ball club. The issues we are seeing out of this defense weren’t something any of us saw coming, but make some sense. There was no way they could recreate that same level of play once again with all the turnovers. As the season goes on, it becomes more apparent how much the defense covered up for the offense’s deficiencies.
Everyone in the Bears organization is under the microscope right now. As the season moves on, how will they react to the tough times they are facing? The roars from the fans are not going to get any quieter. Matt Nagy is having to deal with the uncomfortable feeling for the first time as a head coach. In the post-game presser, he said he never even considered making a QB switch at halftime in Philly. I understand his decision to stick with number 10. But one thing I don’t understand is why Nagy hasn’t made an attempt to change things up with his offense. All along, the Bears wanted this offense to run through Trubisky. But that idea has been debunked watching this season. The offense should have and should be running through David Montgomery. Want to take some pressure off of your QB? Run the football. When your dream doesn’t become your reality, you don’t stay the course, you change things up to help you get to your end goal. This season isn’t all Nagy’s fault. Everyone has to take some blame for how this season has gone. My question is: What are they going to do about it moving forward? I know that, when it comes to adversity, you find out a lot about yourself and those around you. As fans, you don’t get to see what goes on inside the locker room and team meetings. Fans only get to see the team’s play on the football field and the results on Sundays. From here on out, I want to see how this team plays and responds with 8 games left in the season. From the guys I know in that locker room, they won’t stop fighting no matter how bad it gets. Till next week, Bears fans. Keep it classy. #Beardown