[Editor’s Note: Here’s a companion piece to yesterday’s Data Entry.]
If Matt Nagy and Mitch Trubisky are what Ryan Pace thinks they are, there’s no reason to think the Bears offense won’t be good in 2018.
Nagy has stressed patience since he took over. And he should. His complete vision for the offense is going to take years to implement. But there’s no reason the team shouldn’t be able to score points this year. Generally speaking, teams with good quarterbacks and good coaches score points. Add the fact that the Bears are pretty good at every other offensive position and, there really isn’t a reason to think they won’t score.
And while the offense may take those precious years to implement in-full, Nagy knows as well as anyone that coaches don’t necessarily get the kind of time they’d like to see things to fruition. They have to get results, especially once the quarterback is in place.
We saw two great examples of this last year. The first and most obvious was NFL Coach of the Year Sean McVay, whose Rams led the league in scoring and were 10th in yardage. The other is Kyle Shanahan, whose 49ers struggled early before Jimmy Garoppolo took over and led them to an average of 28.8 points and nearly 410 yards per game — including a 15-point effort against the Bears.
(I could also point to Marc Trestman – who had the Bears second in points in his first year – but that would break our longstanding agreement to never discuss him again after what happened in 2014.)
Naysayers would point to Doug Pederson. The Super Bowl-winning head coach took a full season before his offense exploded. But in his first year, Carson Wentz was a rookie and the team’s receivers were awful. Like the Bears did in 2018, the Eagles revamped their pass catchers and saw a huge benefit. If anything, the Bears are a lot closer to where the Eagles were in year two of Pederson/Wentz than Year One.
The Bears have one of the ten best backfields in the league. They are at least in the top half of the league in terms of offensive line and tight ends. Their receivers are boom-or-bust, but if Trubisky and Nagy are as good as Pace believes, they’ll find a way to score points, regardless. And if the receivers are as good as they can be, they’re going to score a lot of points.
This isn’t to say the Bears will have one of the five best offenses in the league, although that is possible. But there’s no reason they shouldn’t be in the middle of the pack — a huge step up from where they’ve been.