When lofty expectations aren't met, the disappointment comes out angrier than ever, and when looking at the 2019 Chicago Bears, we -- the fans and media alike -- have plenty to be upset about. The Bears went into the offseason a year ago thinking they would reload their fantastic defense under new defensive coordinator Chuck Pagano, retouch their up-and-coming offense led by quarterback Mitchell Trubisky, and build off their 12-4, NFC North championship season.
But they're finding that it's tougher to be the hunted than to be the hunter.
The bye week is coming at a perfect time for this team as they not only need to self-scout to figure out what's been going on, but they also have a few injured players that could use the extra week off.
Forget about the fact that the Bears at 3 wins and 2 losses are in the same exact spot as a year ago. There's just a different feel to the record this season. Teams are giving the Bears their best shot each week and we've yet to see if this group can realistically meet that challenge.
Even in their three wins nothing has come easy for them. The Denver game literally came down to the last second. The Washington win was still met with questions about the offense. And the Vikings game was a tough hard fought sixty minutes that saw the Bears lose Trubisky with a shoulder injury early in the game.
That injury led several members of the media, and even more fans, to question if Chase Daniel was the better option at quarterback for Chicago. While the eleven year vet came into the Viking game and performed admirably, there's simply no way he offers more than Trubisky. Even with the shaky way Trubisky has looked this year, he still gives the Bears more big play potential. His ability to escape the rush and buy time with is feet gives the offense more hope, especially with the way Chicago's offensive line has been struggling.
We saw Daniel's limitations against Oakland. He may know Matt Nagy's offense better, but he doesn't have as strong an arm as Mitch does, so he doesn't let some passes fly when he should, plus he's not as quick to escape the pocket which leads to more sacks. He took four sacks against the Raiders, and a year ago his sack percentage was more than double Trubisky's. I'm not trying to say that Daniel isn't a decent option as a number two quarterback, but he's clearly not able to lead an NFL franchise for a long period of time.
But back to Trubiksy and the offense. If he does indeed return for the October 20th game against the New Orleans Saints, he'll need to show the same kind of comfort he showed in the second half of of the 2018 season. At the start of this year he lacked the confidence that comes with a full grasp of the playbook and he seemed to play both tentatively and too fast (think about it, it makes sense). Maybe head coach Matt Nagy threw too much of the 202 version of the offense at him in their second year, or maybe he was just overthinking things, but regardless, it's on Nagy to find the right formula for success in what they ask Mitch to do each week.
The league clearly caught on to some of the concepts that Nagy liked to do a year ago, and they caught on to some of what Trubiksy likes to do, so using the bye week to dive into the tape and adjust the game-plan is warranted. Nagy is schooled in the West Coast Offense and he was taught by one of the best in Andy Reid, so he'll be able to adjust from an Xs and Os standpoint. But if he and the Bears can't get their offense back on track, then the problems run deeper than scheme and we'll have to see that play out after the season.