In Part One of my Bears Phase Improvement expectations articles, I discussed the Special Teams and their potential. Today, we’ll dive into the offense! With another year under his belt, Bears quarterback Mitchell Trubisky has gained a ton of experience heavily due to the creative mind of head coach Matt Nagy. Their first season together was a raging success, and they look to improve upon that even further this season. Now in the beginning of their second season together, they should be comfortably positioned on the same page of the playbook and have added some new faces in the backfield that need to be brought up to speed.
Under Matt Nagy, the offense last year, as a whole, had 3,747 (ranked 21st overall) yards through the air. Add onto that 28 touchdowns (14th overall) and 14 interceptions (21st overall).
Mitchell Trubisky ended last year with 3,223 yards, 24 touchdowns and 12 interceptions. Chase Daniel had 515 yards, three touchdowns and two picks. Tarik Cohen took home the prize money going a perfect 1/1 for one yard and a touchdown. Anthony Miller also had one throw go for eight yards.
Here the main concern to me is the completion percentage. It’s no secret that most complaints regarding Trubisky’s sophomore season in the NFL was his accuracy and overthrowing of receivers. With the change from the Fox-era to Nagy system, there was bound to be some growing pains. In 2019, there isn’t much room for those pains. Trubisky needs to be better with his accuracy and his receivers need to hang onto the dang ball. If the quarterback can get the ball to touch the hands of a professional NFL wideout, then they should be able to catch it every time. What I want to see is Allen Robinson, Anthony Miller, Taylor Gabriel, Riley Ridley and Trey Burton channel their inner Larry Fitzgerald/DeAndre Hopkins… No drops!
Losing Jordan Howard hurt, but was not devastating to the Matt Nagy offense. I was a big fan of his, but he absolutely did not fit this system. Howard had 250 rushing attempts for 935 yards and nine touchdowns. That being said, with the 250 rushing attempts alone, Tarik Cohen should absolutely NOT be the Bears’ every down back. He just simply can’t handle the workload due to size. That’s not a knock on him either, it’s just fact. Cohen had impressive numbers last season turning 99 carries into 444 yards and three touchdowns. I would love to see Cohen used more as a slot receiver than a running back. I think his speed and elusiveness has proven to be his bread and butter when it comes to big-chunk-yardage.
Enter David Montgomery. The Bears 2019 third-round pick will be the answer to the running back problem. In his junior season at Iowa State, he took 257 handoffs for 1,216 yards and thirteen touchdowns! At 5’10” and 222lbs, I think it’s safe to say he can be the Bears workhorse.
Montgomery isn’t everything though. Mike Davis came over from Seattle where, last season, he turned 112 carries into 514 yards and four touchdowns. He has looked pretty solid in training camp as well. The two of them make for a nice 1-2 punch.
The bottom line is I would like to see them beat down a defense. They need to make those opposing pash rushers worry about more than just trying to get to Trubisky. Making them think about a hard runner hurdling at them, even for half a second, can make an offense so much more dangerous when they can attack from multiple angles.
Lastly is offensive penalties. Last season, the Bears offense committed 97 penalties pushing them back a total of 796 yards. Granted, it was a big improvement from 2017’s 115 offensive penalties that totaled 943 yards, but still, that number is much too high. I’d like to see decreasing numbers in this category for the second consecutive year.
Overall, the Bears offense has a ton of potential to be even greater than the 2018 campaign. It won’t be easy, considering their tough schedule, but champions have to beat the best to be the best. Hopefully, Trubisky improves his accuracy and his receivers help him out on the other end as well. If the two running backs mentioned above can work well together, they will form a nice symbiotic relationship with the passing offense and create a two-headed monster.
Featured Photo: USA Today