Famed writer Leo Tolstoy once said: “The two most powerful warriors are patience and time.” Matt Nagy has preached a similar sentiment in his short time as Chicago Bears Head Coach when it comes to the growth of Mitchell Trubisky and the offense.
That can be hard to hear as a fan though because not many teams this side of the Cleveland Browns had to wait over 1,700 days to be in sole possession of first place in their division.
It is completely understandable that fans are upset with the way the offense is running when Ryan Pace specifically hired Matt Nagy to right the ship on that side of the ball.
However, Nagy has always been insistent that it will take time to have this offense where it needs to be and he sounds certain that it will get there.
I, for one, am a believer that the offense will be a force to be reckoned with and while it may not happen against Tampa Bay or Miami one can hope that it will happen by the time the Bears play their next division opponent in the second half of the season.
While the offense has undoubtedly struggled they have shown signs of promise. So far this season the Bears have scored on 34.4 percent of their offensive drives – good for 16th overall.
In Week 1, half of the Bears’ drives ended in either a three-and-out or a failed fourth down conversion without gaining a first down. In Week 2, four out of the Bears’ 10 drives (not including the kneel down to end the game) ended without the Bears gaining a first down.
Not including the final play of the first half this week, the Bears only had three of their 10 drives end without gaining a first down, the last of which forced the Cardinals to take all three timeouts in an attempt to salvage the game.
Simply put, the Bears had a number of drives Sunday where they were moving the ball but a young quarterback just failed to get them over the hump. One 47-yard drive ended in a missed field goal after a sack that Trubisky knows he cannot take.
Another promising drive was stalled after a chop block was called on Eric Kush and put the Bears in a very difficult first-and-25 situation.
Another encouraging sign is how the Bears have controlled the ball.
- Week 1: 33:26
- Week 2: 34:24
- Week 3: 36:21
Truly bad offenses are not able to control the ball for that long.
We have seen it in years past far too often when a bad offense leaves a good defense vulnerable by constantly losing the time of possession battle. This is where complementary football really comes into play.
I maintain that the 2018 Chicago Bears offense is not necessarily a bad offense but rather a young, inexperienced offense that has failed to mesh at this point in the season.
By no means has Trubisky been good enough to fulfill Bears fans’ expectations but his own head coach, who has had struggles of his own he must learn from, has been incessant that this process will take time.
Both Trubisky and Nagy deserve time to get this right.
Check this out: In Alex Smith’s first year in the same system, he had a game where he was 14 of 31 for 128 yards with zero touchdowns against a 4-12 Oakland Raiders defense that was not very good. That was also Smith’s eighth year in the NFL … not his second.
Week 3 in the NFC North proved that no win should ever be taken for granted. The Minnesota Vikings were 17-point favorites and were utterly demolished by the Bills who looked horrible the first two weeks.
Green Bay who was two-point road favorites against the Redskins, struggled all day and lost by two touchdowns.
The Lions, who had looked dreadful, came out on Sunday night and held the Patriots to 209 total yards.
After a short week and roughly a 1,440-mile flight, the Bears came out flat. But instead of what happened against the Buccaneers in 201,7 the Bears bounced back and won a game they in which they looked awful early on.
When was the last time that happened?
An ugly win counts all the same and it just buys another week for Nagy, Trubisky, and the offense to get on the same page. Oh and this week they get to do it while in first place!