Okay, Thursday Night Football games are shitshows, we all get it, they set football back 115 years to the era before the invention of the forward pass. I get it.
Also, did you hear Brian Robinson got shot? I had never heard that before tonight! Wow! What an incredible story that I’d never heard before.
Alright, I want to talk about the game.
Obviously this bobbled ball by Darnell Mooney was the play that lost the Bears the game:
I mean you just have to make that catch. Not a whole lot else to be said.
There was another drop a play earlier by Dante Pettis in the endzone, but he was being interfered with by the DB. He had the ball in his hands for a TD, but it was a really tough catch. It was not nearly as egregious as the Mooney drop.
And we can’t let Velus Jones off the hook here. He muffed a punt that gave Washington the ball inside the 10 yard line, which they promptly turned into their first and only TD of the game to make it 12-7, which ended up being the final score. The Bears defense was suffocating the Commanders offense all game long, and Velus Jones just gave it away. That’s an unacceptable blunder.
Also, in the first half, Justin Fields just straight up missed his tight end in the end zone for a wide open touchdown. Just missed him. And then the Bears turned the ball over on downs on the one yard line to come away with no points.
The Bears also had a trip inside the 10 yard line prior to that one that resulted in zero points. A Fields pass that was batted at the line flew way high up into the air and was picked off by a Washington interior defensive lineman. I would say it was a fluke play, but Fields gets a lot of passes batted at the line. And also, that was the least of the Bears worries in that game.
The Bears had no business losing that game, and yet they did.
We can second guess now and say they probably should’ve kicked the field goal and gone up 3-0 instead of going for it on 4th and goal from the one yard line in the first half. I think taking the points is underrated, personally, and given how that game was going–i.e. both teams couldn’t do jack shit on offense–it’s not the worst thing to get three points. You kick that field goal, you’re only down 12-10 late in that game (maybe 13-10 if Washington opts to go for the extra point instead of the two point conversion). But either way, that last drive that ended the game you’re playing for a field goal instead of needing a touchdown.
I don’t know. It just feels like the whole league is getting too cute nowadays. Everyone wants to go for it on fourth, they think kicking a field goal is tantamount to a turnover. But there are a lot worse outcomes than kicking a damn field goal!
What I really want to talk about here is the Bears’ offensive coaching. I just don’t get it.
Your quarterback runs a 4.4 and you’re asking him to stand in the pocket?
What the hell is going on with this Bears coaching staff?
Do they realize there is a blueprint for quarterbacks like Fields? Do they not realize the Ravens built an offense around Lamar Jackson and he won the MVP?
Do they not realize the Eagles with Jalen Hurts are 5-0 right now?
Fields may not be quite as fast as Lamar Jackson, or as powerful as Jalen Hurts, but he’s an incredible runner all the same, and his arm talent might be better than both those guys.
I am dumbfounded by Luke Getsy’s offense. He worked with Aaron Rodgers in Green Bay, and it’s like he doesn’t know how to run any other offense than the Aaron Rodgers Green Bay offense. He just expects Justin Fields to turn into Aaron Rodgers.
No, you’re supposed to build your offense around your quarterback’s strengths, and minimize his weaknesses. The Ravens build their entire offense around Lamar Jackson’s strengths. They don’t ask him to play like Tom Brady, because that would be stupid.
The Eagles build their entire offense around Jalen Hurts’ strengths. They don’t ask him to play like Matthew Stafford, because THAT. WOULD. MAKE. NO. SENSE.
Nick Sirianni sat down with his offensive coaching staff and they had a discussion. What does Jalen do well? What does he do poorly? How do we build an offense that plays to his strengths and avoids putting him in situations that don’t match his skillset?
Then they went and did it. And now they’re 5-0.
With the Bears it feels like Luke Getsy walked in there and goes, “Okay, here’s how we did it in Green Bay. Everyone learn this playbook.”
The main problems for the Bear offense, as I see it, are as follows:
- The Bears offensive coaching staff is not maximizing Justin Fields’ strengths at all.
- The Bears wide receiving corps is cheeks. Darnell Mooney is decent, but he should be more like a #3 or a #2 at best. If you gave Fields Washington’s receiving corps (McLaurin and Samuel) he would be on a whole different level.
- The Bears offensive line is sub-par. It’s not as terrible as people say it is, though. Fields takes a lot of sacks that he shouldn’t be taking. He holds on to the ball too long. I call them Russell Wilson Sacks because Russell Wilson is the king of getting sacked after like 5 seconds.
- In fairness, Fields is not good going past his first read. If his first read is covered, he tends to freeze up. He’s indecisive when it comes to throwing into tight windows–it’s not Ohio State anymore. You don’t have Garrett Wilson and Chris Olave running down field wide open by 10 yards on every play. “Open” in the NFL is different from being open in college. Fields has to adjust.
I don’t know if Luke Getsy is capable of building this offense around Fields’ strengths. I wonder if he only knows the Green Bay Way and that’s it.
I also wonder if the Bears’ coaching staff and front office doesn’t feel particularly invested in Fields since it was the old regime that drafted him. Maybe they just don’t have any desire to build the offense around him and tailor it to his strengths.
But this is still an indictment on them. You can’t coach the quarterback you want; you need to coach the quarterback you have.