The Bears aren't trying to hide it.
In fact, they know better than anyone how underwhleming the offense has been through the first two weeks of the season. After failing to get into the end zone against the Packers in Week 1, last Sunday's one-touchdown affair – though a much better result – still left the team, as guard Kyle Long put it, 'back to basics.'
"I know that it starts up front," Kyle Long said on Wednesday. "There are a lot of things I can do better, a lot of blocks I’m not making, a lot of guys not accounted for. I’ll be on guys at the beginning of the play and then at the end of the play, they’re around the pile. I need to make it my personal goal to not allow my matchup to make the play."
"If we all do that, and I know that everybody strives to do that, I think we’ll have success."
The stats are already well-worn: 28th in passing yards and passing yards per game (164); 29th in total yards (527) and yards per game (263.5); and 30th in points (19) and points per game (9.5). The only two teams with consistently worse results are the Jets (0-2), who have been outscored 40-19, and the Dolphins (0-2), who have been outscored 102-10. You'd hardly blame the offense for feeling a bit frustrated.
"I wouldn’t say it’s frustration, so to speak," Allen Robinson said. "I would say it’s more so guys wanting to make plays. That’s what it comes down to. There’s many ways you can look at it. In this game, it comes down to a lot of situational stuff. When you look across the league, that’s what it comes down to. It comes down to playing good in crunch time."
If there's one part of the offense that the Bears have been pleased with through two weeks, it's been the situational play. The Monday after the Broncos win, Matt Nagy talked at length about how the team was pleased with the absence of pre-snap penalties and how the line neutralized star pass-rusher Von Miller:
Von Miller against the #Bears100 offensive line— PFF CHI Bears (@PFF_Bears) September 17, 2019
25 pass-rushing snaps
"We did a good job at that," he said. "That was impressive. We protected the football in a game like that, where field position and low-scoring, we didn’t give them a short field with any interceptions or fumbles. And I think overall in two games, with their being a lot more negatives than positives offensively, we’ve done a good job at protecting the football."
As is usually the case with negatives, the word patience was thrown around Halas Hall a bunch on Wednesday. Long compared the season to a boxing match, noting that people very rarely land knock-out blows in the early rounds. But when so much more was expected of the fight, is it hard to stay patient in the moment?
"Absolutely," he said. "You go out there and you’ve got stuff schemed up, dialed in and you run it and it doesn’t work out like you want it to. But that’s what football is all about: sticking to your guns and sticking with what you know."
The Bears will get a good opportunity to land a clean punch on Monday night, when they head into Landover, MD., to play a defense that's been one of the NFL's worst so far. It's maybe the best opportunity yet to showcase what Nagy 202 can really be.
"Definitely. We all want the big plays," Robinson added. "We all want all of that. I think that's pretty evident from an offensive standpoint. Each and every week we're going out there trying to put in the work.
It'll come out."