Dannehy: Passing Game Failures are Everyone’s Fault

| September 21st, 2022

If Week One was a giant victory for the Ryan Poles and Matt Eberflus era, Week Two was a terrible defeat.

There is a lot of blame to go around for Chicago’s failures against Green Bay. It starts by looking at the rosters. When you compare Green Bay’s defensive front to Chicago’s offensive line, and their secondary to Chicago’s receivers, it is a total mismatch.

That said, it isn’t like the Bears have a bare cupboard. The fact that Justin Fields has fewer than 200 passing yards through two games is, well, shocking.  Nobody will say Fields was great as a rookie, but in his last two games in 2021 he had more than 500 passing yards and three touchdowns. We can talk all day about the players the Bears don’t have, but they do have two who should be good options in the passing game in Darnell Mooney and Cole Kmet. Both were able to produce last year and can’t even get the ball thrown their way this year.

Was Matt Nagy that good or is Luke Getsy that bad?

That isn’t to absolve Fields, Kmet, Mooney or any of the other players. We’re simply learning that they aren’t good enough at this point. That also shouldn’t be a surprise. If you go back to the early reports from camp, they were all about how much the Bears were working on their running game and not their passing game. How could anybody expect mediocre — if we’re being generous — talent to produce against elite talent when they haven’t even put the time in on the practice field?

The NFL season is guaranteed to have 17 tests and the Bears have gone through two of them. The team’s front office and coaching staff is well aware that they aren’t going to be contending for the Super Bowl this year. They knowingly took the slow path to success and, unfortunately, that means there will be games like Sunday night.

Kyler Gordon Needs to Be Better

Perhaps what made Sunday night’s game more excruciating is that one of the assets the Bears could’ve used to make their offense better was the biggest weakness on the defense by a wide margin. The Packers just kept going after Kyler Gordon and they kept succeeding. Whether it was a run or pass, if Gordon was around, it was a successful play.

It isn’t uncommon for rookie cornerbacks to struggle. The panic meter shouldn’t be at ten. But it also can’t be at zero. This wasn’t a Green Bay Packers team with Davante Adams, Jordy Nelson and a young Randall Cobb. They still beat Gordon consistently.

It’s easy for the Bears to say Gordon needs to learn from his mistakes, but there were so many mistakes, it’s hard to pinpoint where he should start.

Can We Get More Gipson?

All Trevis Gipson is doing so far in 2022 is beating blockers, yet the team doesn’t seem particularly interested in having him on the field a lot.

After being fourth in snaps amongst defensive ends in Week One, Gipson was still third in Week Two. Despite playing only 23 snaps, he had two sacks. In two games, he has eight pressures – twice as many as the next-most productive, Robert Quinn, despite playing 52 fewer snaps. Al-Quadin Muhammed has just three pressures with 33 more snaps than Gipson.

Houston Might Be a Problem

One of the few teams the Bears might have more talent than won’t be an easy foe.

Playing the same Tampa 2 style the Bears do, Houston has allowed just 36 points to two teams who were expected to score a lot this season. They’ve given up a ton of yards but tightened up, as Lovie Smith is prone to do.

It seems like this is one of the few games we can say the Bears should win, but Denver and Indianapolis surely thought they’d have blowout victories.

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