The Colts came to Chicago and beat the Bears 19-11 this afternoon, in a game CBS flexed to the late window as a replacement for the postponed Patriots-Chiefs game.
That was unfortunate for neutral fans, because they were rewarded with a flailing Chicago offense struggling to do much of anything for most of the game, along with a lot of sloppy penalties and other miscues.
The Colts fared slightly better, though Philip Rivers didn’t exactly light up Soldier Field, and Indianapolis should have probably put the game away much more emphatically than they were able to do. That the Bears were in it at all is a testament to their defense, which remains one of the better units in the league and probably only requires a competent offense to be able to win games on its own.
Unfortunately, the Bears do not have a competent offense. Not even close, at the moment. There’s a reason Matt Nagy went to Nick Foles last week, but after three games that the Bears easily could have lost, it’s clear that it’s not just the quarterback play that’s the issue. That’s not to say that Mitch Trubisky was slighted! He wasn’t. He’s not a good quarterback, and he clearly wasn’t going to get any better in this system.
3rd round pick on a RB who's… fine. 3 day 2 picks on interior OL, and 2 of them are good but not great. 6 drafts and the only investment in OT has been 1 6th and 1 7th round pick.
Oh, also traded picks away to trade up for QB, WR, and RB. And for the other QB, who also sucks.
— Johnathan Wood (@Johnathan_Wood1) October 4, 2020
Foles, meanwhile, is an okay NFL starter, but with the talent around him and Nagy’s playcalling, he also might not be enough to actually win games. Allen Robinson is awesome, but the rest of the offense is just, well, okay. General manager Ryan Pace has shown a very worrying inability to accurately value draft picks for trade purposes, and then to whiff on picks when he actually makes them, has left the Bears in a tough spot. It’s more than fair to wonder whether Pace is in his final year with the Bears; if the Raiders hadn’t lost their minds and dealt Khalil Mack, Pace would have zero playoff trips during his tenure so far.
Nagy, meanwhile, continues to struggle. His coaching style seems stubborn, rather than adaptive. There are also a lot of cute, overthinking-type plays that should probably be excised immediately. Essentially it feels like he’s coaching for the offense he wants to have rather than the one he actually has.
Yes, I know without a good QB in this league it's always going to be tough.
But on the surface right now, I view his biggest strength more as a leader than as a schemer/playcaller/in-game decision-maker. I just expected a little more on the latter traits by now. Still time.
— Matt Clapp (@DaBearNecess) October 5, 2020
There’s also this: the Bears could be 4-0 just as easily as they could be 0-4. They had a few miracle comebacks (and the Lions absolutely gifted the Bears a Week 1 win), but today things arguably went the other way. Khalil Mack dropped a gimme interception. A few big calls went against the Bears (including the crew somehow picking up a roughing the passer penalty against the Colts), but more than that they made a lot of their own mistakes throughout, were outplayed, and still wound up an onside kick away from having the chance to tie it up.
That’s what having a great defense can do. Bears fans know that more than anyone, but at this point, they’d probably rather see what it’s like to have two good units at the same time. Or, at the very least, a great offense instead.