The Chicago Bears somehow found a way to beat the Arizona Cardinals on Sunday afternoon. The offense was downright ugly. They finished with 16 points, 316 total yards and one touchdown as a unit.
That’s simply not good enough. Especially, with a defense as talented as the one the Bears currently have.
Despite the overall ugly performance, the Bears offense did get the ground game going against the Cardinals. Jordan Howard and Tarik Cohen rushed for a combined 122 yards. They also dominated time of possession 36:21 to 23:39
Well, that was pretty much it for the good.
Now, the bad: the Bears went 5-14 (36%) on third downs, they went 1-3 in the red zone and turned the ball not once, but twice. As always, this weeks breakdown of the offense will begin with the quarterback, Mitch Trubisky.
For the third consecutive game, Trubisky struggled at times to do much of anything that was positive in terms of his development. He completed 24-35 passes for 220 yards, an interception, and fumble. For the second week in a row, Trubisky turned the ball over twice.
He did finish with better numbers than Cardinals QB Sam Bradford, who went 13-19 for 157 yards two touchdowns and three interceptions. Sunday’s game in the desert was not a good one for quarterbacks.
I counted five or six overthrows on the day for Trubisky who was inaccurate downfield once again. That’s been the book on him so far in his young NFL career – accurate short, not so much deep.
This should have been a touchdown to Taylor Gabriel.
The next thing that made me cringe when rewatching Trubisky was his inability once again to the read the defense. Take a look at the picture below.
Clearly, the Cardinals are bringing pressure with at least six or seven players. So, that should tell Trubisky he will need to get rid of the ball quickly. He should know who his security blanket is before the ball is snapped.
On this play, that was Cohen, who was wide open in the flat.
Why Trubisky didn’t just toss it to Cohen is beyond me. It’s either a lack of focus or somehow he didn’t see the pressure coming. If that doesn’t describe an inexperienced QB I don’t know what does.
These are things Trubisky will have to improve on if he’s going to be a franchise QB one day.
Positive Trubisky plays
Ok, let’s try and be positive, which may be impossible after watching Trubisky on Sunday.
In the video below, we see Trubisky go through his progressions and makes a beautiful throw to Trey Burton. With time, this is hopefully what Trubisky can do on a more consistent basis. Everything about the play was perfect.
On the next play, Trubisky makes another strong read and throw to WR Allen Robinson on the sideline.
Again, that was picture perfect. Trubisky goes throw his progressions and makes an accurate throw to Robinson. These plays are proof that Trubisky’s issues are correctable. The problem is this kind of progress can’t be rushed.
The playcalling by head coach Matt Nagy on Sunday was subpar. Getting the run game involved was a fantastic move by him and the rest of his staff, but everything else was either really good or just bad.
In the red zone, Nagy needs to stop getting so cute. They tried throwing a few times down there, instead of running Howard. When they scored their only red zone touchdown on Sunday, guess who scored? That’s right, Mr. Jordan Howard.
Like Trubisky, Nagy is developing as a play caller and head coach. That was obvious on Sunday when he failed to make up his mind when it came down to taking the points or going for it on fourth down.
Say what you want about Nagy, but he is honest.
“I’m growing right now with decision making. … These are all situations for me [where] I’m learning as I go. And it’s going to make me better.”
Eventually, the offense will get it, but it’s important to remember that it will be a process. In other words, it may take some time. For now, the Bears will continue to rely on their strongest unit – the defense.
“It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to realize that we’re winning games because of our defense.”
Follow Nick on Twitter–Featured Photo Credit: Armando L. Sanchez / Chicago Tribune
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