Listening to the narrative around the Bears offense the past few days, one would think they got beat last Sunday in Denver, it’s time to start looking for a new quarterback and maybe even another offensive coach.
The Bears offense certainly has been less than we expected through the first two weeks of the season.
But going into last Sunday’s game, the Broncos had not lost at home in September in seven years, rattling off 16 straight wins dating to Week 3 of 2012; they were 18-1 in their last 19 home openers and 19-1 the first two weeks of September since 2001.
The Broncos are 49-8-2 at home the first two weeks in September dating back to the NFL-AFL merger in 1967.
Yes, that stretch since they opened the newest Mile High Stadium does include 10 winning teams, but it also encompasses four losing clubs and four more that finished at 8-8.
Whether they have been good, mediocre or bad, nobody beats the Broncos at home in September — obviously because of the altitude and conditions — and the Bears just did.
Yes, the defense deserves more credit for the win than the offense, but that’s who these Bears are.
That gameplan in Denver wasn’t designed to make up for, hide or limit Mitch Trubisky. It was designed to do the near-impossible – win in Denver in September – and albeit by the skin of their teeth, that’s just what the Bears did.
Where does it leave the Bears offense heading into Washington Monday night?
Most likely back at the drawing board and trying to improve a struggling ground game and MIA air attack, and preparing to put the ball back in Trubisky’s hands because this week the situation dictates it.
Success has to start with Trubisky playing better; I don’t think anyone disputes that.
But his playing better starts with more help from the guys around him, and several of his key veteran teammates know that.
Kyle Long’s theory on how they get better starts with: “We have to get back to the basics.
“That’s one thing Harry (Hiestand) always preaches. Back to the basics.
“When things get a little out of whack, get back to the basics. Because when we use our basics, not many people on earth can beat us.”
Long also believes, hard as it may be for some, patience may be their greatest virtue right now.
“You have to stay patient.
“People have compared it to boxing matches a lot. It’s not too often you’re going to knock somebody out in the first round but what you see a lot of is guys get worn down throughout the game and you see the big punches land in the later rounds.
“And if we can find a way to impose our will physically early in the game, we’ll have opportunities to get those chunk plays throughout the game.”
Allen Robinson feels the frustration all around but he’s convinced the offense is improving and good things are right around the corner.
“Definitely. From the first week to the second week, when we come back and watch film, we see stuff that we might have messed up on and different things we can improve on and get better at," Robinson said.
“And that's what we're doing going into this week and going into each and every week — we're trying to get better.”
Matt Nagy continues to insist his offense is just a few more “chunk plays” per week — like the one Cordarrelle Patterson ripped off on his 46-yard run in Denver — away from really taking off.
“I think to us what matters in the why part.
“And I feel like for us, just looking at the tape and seeing it, right now it’s just about getting into that rhythm and then understanding the execution of the plays.”
Certainly, the biggest improvement has to come from Trubisky, but it’s just as obvious that his is a story for which the future, climax and ending have yet to be written, it’s definitely not something he can do on his own, and what happened last Sunday actually was a step forward, not back.