With last season’s double doink still reverberating around Chicago, Thursday night’s home opener against Green Bay was supposed to be an opportunity to silence the infamous kick for good.
That didn’t happen, though, and the Bears’ 10-3 loss to the Packers on opening night created even more noise and many to question the legitimacy of head coach Matt Nagy’s offense.
Especially since all offseason the Bears raved about the progression of quarterback Mitch Trubisky and the offense now being in “202.” However, on the start of the most anticipated season to date, the Bears only had three points to show for it.
The fans that booed the offense had every right to. The fans that are overexaggerating after just one game need to, for a lack of better words, relax.
After rewatching Thursday night’s game, everything that could’ve gone wrong for the offense did. Nagy called questionable plays all night, Trubisky never got into a rhythm and made some bad decisions, receivers dropped passes, the offensive line played sloppy and plenty of penalties were committed.
On the Bears’ tenth drive of the game, the offense committed three straight penalties and faced a first-and-40. I don’t think I have ever seen that before.
When you have all that dysfunction in one game, it’s only reasonable to expect a lackluster performance from the offense.
To put things into perspective, out of 256 regular season games last season only 16 times teams scored three points or less (6.3 percent of all games), which indicates it’s hard to be that bad on offense.
And the Bears weren’t the only team to have their struggles on offense in Week 1: Did you see what happened to the Steelers last night? How about QB Baker Mayfield’s performance against the Titans?
For the Bears to fix their problems, it starts with Nagy, who needs to be better.
At times, he was too cute with his playcalling (especially when it came to third-and-short situations). He was reluctant to run the ball with Mike Davis and David Montgomery in a one-score game (with both totaling just 11 rushing attempts). And he decided that it was a better idea to utilize gadget player Cordarrelle Patterson more than second-year receiver Anthony Miller (20 snaps to 16).
These issues did happen in his first season, and it’s frustrating because Nagy has told Trubisky in the past to not make the same mistake twice. Clearly, the 41-year-old head coach needs to abide by his own motto.
Still, Nagy is the reigning Coach of the Year for a reason.
Do people honestly believe he isn’t going to correct his mistakes and adjust moving forward? The answer is obvious and that is why the Bears will be fine.
As for Trubisky, well, that is still to be determined.
He did not play well against the Packers, and similar to Nagy he also made the same mistakes that he committed in Year 2. He was fortunate to not have been intercepted three times versus the Packers and failed to recognize the play clock expiring twice on the same drive.
To be fair, Nagy did him no favors by having him pass 45 times and completely abandoning the run.
Let’s be honest, too. The offensive line did not do their job against the Packers’ front seven. There were several times Trubisky was flushed out of the pocket and had to get rid of the ball quickly. Last Thursday’s performance was not reminiscent of how the group will play the rest of the season.
And the 10 penalties for 107 yards that the Bears committed on Thursday night is also uncharacteristic of the team. According to The Football Database, the Bears were the eighth least penalized team last season, committing 97 penalties for 796 yards.
Look, I’m not saying that these concerns in Week 1 should all just be thrown out the window because it was in fact Week 1.
And I get that it was disappointing to see the offense perform the way they did, especially since it happened against the Packers on opening night of the 2019 NFL season, but this Bears team had plenty of hype coming into Thursday night for good reason.
To restore the excitement fans had for this season, Nagy will get his next opportunity to correct his mistakes this Sunday against an old friend: Vic Fangio.
Of course, this will be no easy task.
The Broncos are a tough team to beat at home early on in the season, and Fangio knows this Bears’ offense better than any other defensive coordinator in the league.
When dealing with adversity, it helps to have good character guys and a good football team, and luckily for Chicago, they have just that. Before everyone jumps to conclusion after just one game, let’s see how the Bears rebound in Week 2 of the season.