Many of the complaints about the 2018 Chicago Bears have centered around their offense. But though seven games, that unit is well ahead of schedule and a major breakthrough seems on the horizon.
When Matt Nagy was hired as the head coach he spoke about the slow process of building a great offense, noting how it took 5 years for Kansas City to get there. But Nagy and Mitch Trubisky have engineered an offense that has been better than most could’ve imagined and better than almost every offense Nagy had with Andy Reid in KC.
Even after a bad start to the season, the Bears are 9th in points scored, 11th in points per drive and 10th in yardage. Some facts:
- The only time Nagy and Reid had an offense that was ranked in the top 10 in both scoring and yardage in Kansas City was 2017.
- Only twice did they have teams that ranked higher than 11th in points per drive.
- Only once were they inside the top 20 in total yardage.
There are a lot of factors that go into the Bears’ offensive success, but the most important has been the play of Trubisky. Although he’s been inconsistent at times, Trubisky has completed nearly 65% of his passes with 15 touchdowns and 6 interceptions. He’s 14th in passer rating, not bad all things considered, and 8th in ESPN’s Total QBR, which takes rushing into consideration.
In the last month, we’ve seen Trubisky throw 13 touchdowns and only 3 interceptions with an average passer rating of 112.4. Included in that, of course, was the incredible 6-touchdown game, but he’s had at least 2 touchdowns in each game.
The most common complaint about this offense has been about the points they’ve left on the field, but that’s also the primary reason to think the offense just might explode into the league’s elite category sooner rather than later.
We saw signs of the running game starting to get going against the Jets. The overall totals weren’t great, but we saw the Bears successfully running when the Jets knew that’s exactly what they were going to do.
It’ll also be interesting to see the impact Adam Shaheen has when he returns from IR. They’ve had a difficult time playing two tight ends because Dion Sims doesn’t threaten defenses at all, Shaheen will change that, assuming he’s close to full strength.
But the biggest missing link has been the big plays down the field. One of the best signs that Nagy is really good at his job is the number of times the Bears have had open players streaking down the field for what should be touchdowns. One of the biggest concerns is that Trubisky has missed those shots more times than not. There is reason to think that will change.
Most of Trubisky’s misses have gone toward one player — Anthony Miller. That’s likely because they’re further in Trubisky’s progression and he tends to rush his throws, something that we’ve already seen drastic improvement in and will likely continue as Trubisky gets comfortable.
If the Bears start hitting their deep shots with regularity, the entire offense is going to open up — especially the running game. Once that happens, we could be talking about the Bears as one of the most explosive units in the league. How crazy would that be?
The Bears already have a good offense, now they have to become a great one.