Despair isn’t the right word for a fan of a 1-1 team. It is only September, after all. And the defense is a force. 24 points allowed in 2 games with 7 sacks. Roquan Smith is a young tackling machine and Khalil Mack is the best around. They’ve only forced one turnover – but you know Eddie Jackson and crew are due for some big TO games. I guess my biggest fear is that we waste another dominant defensive era, like Rex Grossman’s ineptness did to the Urlacher/Briggs teams.
Eddie Piniero looks like a legit NFL kicker – nailing a 53-yard game winner in Denver. Sadly, he’s been the top scorer on the Bears through 2 games. At the beginning of training camp, kicking was supposed to be our Achilles heel. Two weeks into the regular season, my how the laces have turned.
The ominous cloud hanging over this team is the sputtering offense. I, like most fans, expected Mitchell Trubisky to take a huge leap forward this year. Another year of NFL experience; a full offseason with Allen Robinson and the other receivers; complete immersion in Matt Nagy’s offense. Trubisky gave indications last year that he might be the answer at quarterback. He threw 6 touchdowns passes in a game against the Buccaneers. He had some off-kilter games, too. My buddy the Whammer likes to say he was excellent 25 percent of the time last year but also horrible 25 percent of the time. And average the rest of the time. Fairly accurate, as memory serves. But he got us to the playoffs and set us up to win before the double-doink. We knew Mitch wasn’t Patrick Mahomes, but the kid showed some real promise. The offense churned at times last year. Tarik Cohen’s magnificence had a lot to do with that. But much of Cohen’s production was on passes from Trubisky. Taylor Gabriel, Robinson & Anthony Miller also put together some impressive statistical games on the receiving side of Trubisky throws. When Chase Daniel came in a went 1-1 as a starter; we all thought: Solid backup, but we need Mitch healthy to compete for a Super Bowl. A Super Bowl! That was the unquestioned ceiling for this group of Bears. Over the summer, guarantee no one in the Chicago area made plans to leave town the first weekend of next February, unless they booked a hotel room in Miami. Now, I imagine Trivago is getting more random action in the Windy City than Mark Grace in the 90s.
It leaves us all with this Nagy question – what happened? How did the offense go from good to garbage? Did the NFL figure out Nagy’s schemes that quickly? Is Mitch a bust? It’s crazy that the guy who was toast of the town two months ago could have fallen this far in the hearts of Chicagoans. Hell, I own a Trubisky #10 jersey. I don’t think fans have completely given up on him, but it’s coming if things don’t straighten out soon. I wish I had answers, but I’m completely baffled. The Bears added solid pieces like Cordarrelle Patterson and David Montgomery – and somehow got much, much worse. Adjustments are coming, no doubt. Let’s hope Trubisky lights up a shitty Washington team on Monday Night Football. That’ll be a step. The real test will be in 2 weeks versus the Vikings at Soldier Field. If Mitch struggles at home against Minnesota, the boos will fall like rain. I’ll be in attendance. Undecided on whether I’ll don my Trubisky jersey or go with a safe throwback orange Devin Hester. We’ll see how he performs on MNF.
C’mon Bears! Let’s recapture the magic! The city needs you.