Where do I even begin?
Thursday night’s 10-3 loss to the Green Bay Packers was one of the most disappointing losses in recent memory. Although the Monsters of the Midway dropped Game 1 to the Packers last season, this year’s defeat had a little more sting to it.
This is all because of one reason: the offense.
To say that quarterback Mitchell Trubisky and this offense looked out-of-sync is an understatement. Play-calling was poor, the offensive-line was shaky, and Trubisky just couldn’t seem to make the right reads and get the ball into the hands of open receivers.
However, with all the bad vibes that came out of the loss, there’s one player that took his game to the next level: wide receiver Allen Robinson.
Throughout 2018, Robinson didn’t exactly look like the No. 1 wideout the Bears signed him to be last spring. While he was managed to post a sufficient line of 55/754/4, he was unable to show his true superstar potential while battling back from an ACL injury he sustained the season prior. But Thursday night, be began to look every bit worth his three-year, $42 million contract.
Robinson toasted Packers’ cornerback Tony Brown all night long, beating him off the line of scrimmage with ease on his way to seven receptions for 102 yards on a whopping 13 targets. Showing ample progression from a season ago, the 100-yard mark was something he didn’t hit until Week 10 of last season (and the only time) besides the Wild Card matchup against the Eagles.
Even when he wasn’t open, he was open. A receiver known for his ability to win 50-50 balls, the Penn State alum’s most impressive grab of the night came at the beginning of the second quarter on a beautiful back-shoulder catch over tight coverage.
— NFL (@NFL) September 6, 2019
He proved to be an x-factor late in the game as well, catching two passes for 25 yards before Trubisky threw a heart-breaking interception to ex-Bear Adrian Amos (go figure) in the end-zone to seal the game.
On the pick, Trubisky looked towards none other than Robinson, who seemed to be the only person capable of generating any sort of offense last night. Unfortunately, Trubisky misread the Packers’ zone coverage, tossing it up into double coverage, which was a fitting narrative on the night.
The good news: things can’t get much worse from here.
Teams play 16 games for a reason, and head coach Matt Nagy, who won AP Coach of the Year in 2018, is still a strong offensive mind. It’ll take some time for Nagy to get the bad taste out of fans’ mouths after an inexcusable opening-night performance on national television, but some rust was expected after resting his starters the entire preseason.
If he can get his guys to rebound in a big way in Week 2, this game can be looked at as an outlier.
On the bright side, if last night’s game was any indication, Robinson has returned to his former Pro-Bowl form. Still just 26 years old, it appears that the best is yet to come for Robinson, who caught 80 passes for 1,400 yards as a member of the Jacksonville Jaguars in 2015.
When the Bears head back to Halas Hall for practice on Monday, coach Nagy will surely do his best to shape next week’s game plan to get the ball into their star wideout’s hands early and often. Robinson, himself, doesn’t seem too concerned about what’s to come.
“It’s not rocket science, it’s not anything that can’t be corrected. We should have this corrected by next week.” – Allen Robinson
If there’s one positive takeaway from Thursday, it’s that Robinson is back. He’ll look to build on his dazzling performance next week against the Denver Broncos and could start to put up monster numbers once Trubisky and the rest of the offense finally settles in.