State of the (Bears) Nation

By: Thomas Capo
Posted: March 25, 2020

Bears Nation – The Trouble with Trubisky?

Result: Missed Playoffs

2019 Regular season record: 8-8

2019 Scoring Offensive Rank: 29th 17.5 PPG 

2019 Scoring Defensive Rank: 4th 18.6 PPG

2020 Draft First Round Pick: None (Traded to Raiders)

Coach: Matt Nagy

The Offseason Scenario:

2019 was a tale of two units for the Bears. 

Defensively, they were among the NFL’s elite teams, allowing well under twenty points per game. 

Sounds great, right?

Unfortunately for the Bears playoff chances, they scored even less than that in 2019.  Mitchell Trubisky was…not good. His upward trajectory reversed this season, throwing for fewer touchdowns, fewer yards, and a lower completion percentage than 2018.  It’s got to be troubling for a team that looked very ready to contend last year. So troubling, in fact, that they’ve gone out and signed journeyman Nick Foles before the season. 

It’s unclear at this moment whether Matt Nagy expects Foles to be the starter, or simply push Trubisky’s performance. My hunch is the latter. Trubisky was picked second overall just a few years ago and it seems too soon to pull the ripcord when the rest of the roster seems very ready to contend in a crowded NFC North.  

Free Agent Frenzy:

The Bears might look to make a splash in free agency like they did last summer, but they’ll need to make some moves to get there.  They’ve just resigned Danny Trevathan and Robert Quinn, plus the deal for Foles, whose deal will need to be restructured now. They did bring in one offensive weapon, though.  Veteran TE pass catcher Jimmy Graham is headed to Chi-Town on a two-year, $16 million dollar deal, after a couple of unremarkable seasons in rival Green Bay.  

Seriously Premature Draft Hunches:

Here’s the bad news.  The big reason for the Chicago defense’s quantum leap forward, Khalil Mack, came over from the Raiders with a price.  The Bears sent off their 2019 and 2020 first round selections for the DPOY candidate, who was as good as expected last season, with 8.5 sacks and just under 50 tackles. 

It’s hard to argue that the deal wasn’t a win for the Bears defensively, but with the offense regressing so badly, you have to think that Chicago might have been more circumspect before bringing in the All Pro.  Running back is an area that the Bears might target in the draft, as their top rusher, David Montgomery, managed 889 yards last year, good for 19th in the league. 

More problematic than the raw number is the efficiency, where Montgomery averaged only 3.7 yards per attempt.  Those numbers aren’t bad per se, but it seems that Trubisky needs more help than the Bears running game gave him last season.  I expect Chicago to look for a shifty hybrid back in the second round, then look to shore up the secondary and offensive line.  

For more thoughts and opinions from Tom, check out his author page.

Image Source: USA Today

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