Coming off an electrifying season in which a made field goal could have meant a chance at the Super Bowl, Chicago Bears fans had no reason not to be excited. That was until Thursday night, when the excitement came to a halt.
The Bears’ struggles looked horrifyingly familiar, the offense struggled to pick up first downs and seemed to commit penalties every time they completed a crucial play.
Nagy: “I’m going to use this to make me a better coach and we’re going to use this as a team.”— Chicago Bears (@ChicagoBears) September 6, 2019
At the center of the offensive woes was quarterback Mitchell Trubisky who had an especially poor performance.
On passing plays, he looked as though he had made up his mind where the ball was going before even taking the snap, making this information readily available to the Green Bay Packers’ defense via his eyes and overall body language.
Throughout the game, specifically early on, Trubisky shied away from throwing the ball downfield. Even on crucial third downs, he often opted to complete short screen passes that gave the team little to no opportunity to convert.
It soon became clear why he wasn’t throwing downfield. The few times he tried were plagued with inaccuracy and would-be interceptions. His relative inexperience was also exposed, as he committed two delay of game penalties and often missed open receivers. Instead, he habitually attempted to tuck passes into the pockets of covered receivers.
One thing Bears fans can take solace in, however, is the fact that Chicago still has one of the most elite defenses in the entire NFL. They played spectacularly, looking like a well-oiled machine and holding Aaron Rodgers, one of the NFL’s absolute best quarterbacks, to only one passing touchdown.
Despite the Bears’ defense giving Trubisky and company ample opportunities to score, they were completely dead in the water.
Trubisky seemed to be preoccupied with the pass rush and often panicked when the intended receiver was unavailable. This resulted in him scrambling around the pocket with no destination in mind and being sacked as the defense eventually broke through.
Trubisky’s struggles are well captured by the crucial play that occurred on 3rd down with 1:58 left in the 4th. The Bears were on the Green Bay 16, and Trubisky choreographed where he wanted to go with the ball.
He then proceeded to ignore the three defenders closing in and tossed up what looked like a jump ball to the endzone at the falling wide receiver Allen Robinson. Packers strong safety Adrian Amos effortlessly picked this pass off in what looked like a game-ending play.
Despite this demoralizing culmination of a miserable offensive effort, the Bears’ defense persevered, and brilliantly forced a three and out, giving Trubisky and company one final chance to make something happen with about a minute and a half left in the ball game.
The moment was too big for Trubisky however, as he could not even pick up a single first down, failing to even attempt a pass on fourth down and instead taking a late sack to end the game.
With all, I still believe that Trubisky has the potential to be a good quarterback in this league and could be the Bears’ starter for the foreseeable future. I’m only this critical because I believe in this kid’s potential. He made a few impressive throws today, and there is no denying that there is a lot of talent there.
I don’t have an inside look at how hard Trubisky worked in the offseason and recent practices, but I can say this with absolute conviction: whatever he’s doing now is not cutting it. He needs to improve in terms of decision-making, resolve and overall maturity if he ever wants to lead our team to continued success.
After Thursday, the Bears’ offense will hopefully come to realize the importance of continuing to work hard. As a Bears fan, I’m obviously disappointed with the performance, but I’m hoping that this can serve as a learning experience. A new season means new challenges, and they need to keep improving instead of being content with their success from last season.