The weeks after the bye week will tell us a lot about the Bears head coach and whether he really is the genius he was portrayed as or just another in a long line of coaches who got off to hot starts, but couldn’t adjust.
Typically, teams with great coaches excel in the area of their coach’s expertise. That isn’t a good sign for Nagy, whose Bears are 28th in scoring and 30th in yardage through five games. That comes after they struggled for much of the second half last year, including just one offensive touchdown in a playoff loss.
The offense is broken and Nagy needs to fix it.
The problems start at the offensive line where the Bears made an offseason decision to swap Cody Whitehair and James Daniels, a move that has made them definitively worse at two positions. Add in the clear regression of Charles Leno Jr. and an aging Kyle Long and you have one of the worst units in the league.
Then, of course, there are issues at quarterback. The move to 202 stalled out when Nagy admitted they had to simplify the offense for Mitch Trubisky. A simplification isn’t a bad thing, but it’s the second time they’ve had to do that this year, cutting back after they broke training camp. We were told not to read too much into that.
And if Trubisky isn’t the guy, it’s clear Chase Daniel won’t be either. Daniel did some good things in his two games of action this year, making more big throws down the field than Trubisky did before he was injured, but his inexcusable mistakes make it hard for him to stay on the field.
As if the offensive line and the quarterback weren’t enough, the Bears also aren’t getting much out of Tarik Cohen, who was once considered to be their most dangerous player, or Anthony Miller, who seemed like he was going to tear the league up this year.
But, hey, Allen Robinson is playing well.
Nagy said himself that the Bears had the players and that there would be no excuses for the team not lighting up the scoreboard. Yet, here we are.
We’ve learned that this defense isn’t capable of actually carrying the team. Three times in their last five games, the defense has given up touchdowns when they absolutely could not allow touchdowns. They’ve said they want to be a historically great defense, but historically great defenses put games away.
Whether it’s with the scheme or the players, it’s clear that Nagy needs to make some drastic changes to the offense. He already said he won’t un-swap Whitehair and Daniels, but perhaps he can do something about Long at right guard? Then again, if Ted Larson is the best option, they’re still in deep shit.
Playing Javon Wims more — as I suggested in this space a week ago — didn’t seem to help, but the Bears got a couple of big plays from Miller. Perhaps a true competition between the two second-year receivers would bring out the best in both?
Hopefully, Nagy isn’t just simply hoping players will play better. He has to do his part and put them in position.
There are two ways to hide offensive warts, with a great quarterback or a great coach. Trubisky isn’t going to suddenly turn into Patrick Mahomes, so it’s going to be up to Nagy to fix the offense. If he’s as good as everyone thought before the season, he should be able to fix this.