Bears

Olin Kreutz: The Bears don't want to be what their offensive identity is

Olin Kreutz: The Bears don't want to be what their offensive identity is

The Bears offense has been the topic of conversation (debate, really) all season long. What was supposed to be a breakout year for Matt Nagy and Mitch Trubisky has devolved into a weekly discussion of what went wrong and how the offense can be fixed.

One of the primary talking points through the first 10 weeks of the season has been Chicago's lack of identity on offense. But why is that? Is it because the Bears can't do anything right? Or is it because Nagy is too stubborn to keep calling plays that work. 

Former Bears center and NBC Sports Chicago analyst Olin Kreutz offered his thoughts on the Football Aftershow on Sunday.

"You go back to their first touchdown of the year this year. It was late in the third quarter in Denver, which is the first sign already that maybe their offense isn’t going to be very good this year, and it’s a nine-play drive, eight of those plays are runs," Kreutz said. "That tells me right there what your identity is. It’s not that the Bears’ offense doesn’t have an identity, it’s that they don’t want to be what their identity is.

"They have an identity, right? They have a way they move the ball, they have a way they score. It’s just, no one turns the film on and says, 'Let’s go to our very few touchdown drives this year, and let’s see what were we actually doing on that drive?' The only drive, guys, that they were actually who Nagy wants to be was the second TD drive of the Eagles game last week. And how did they start that drive? They threw up I-formation boot to Allen Robinson, he dropped it over the guy, he went to jump over the guy’s head, not gonna say he dropped it, but Allen Robinson went for it. But that kinda got Mitch in his groove, you get him into a boot, let him throw the ball out, and then they start with their Will and their zone read. And that’s what they wanna be, but that was really the only successes they’ve ever had in that style of offense until today."

Trubisky and the Bears were more productive against a lowly Lions defense and managed to put up 20 points in the team's 20-13 win. But the passing game accounted for just 173 yards while David Montgomery churned out 60 yards on 17 carries. There were some nice moments for sure, but could a performance like Week 10 even compete against some of the NFL's better defenses? Likely not.

Kreutz is right on the money. Nagy has to stop trying to force Trubisky into the quarterback he wants him to be and instead let the offense become what it's meant to be based on the personnel on the roster. Trubisky will never be Patrick Mahomes, and that's OK. He can be 'Mitch Trubisky,' which based on Sunday's win at Soldier Field is good enough to at least keep the Bears competitive.

Mitch Trubisky named Week 13's FedEx Air Player of the Week

Mitch Trubisky named Week 13's FedEx Air Player of the Week

Slowly but surely, Bears quarterback Mitchell Trubisky is improving. He's playing with more confidence, he's throwing with more accuracy, and in Week 13's win over the Detroit Lions, Trubisky won the game for Chicago, 24-20.

Trubisky earned himself some style points, too. He threw for 338 yards and three touchdowns, including a game-winner with just over two minutes remaining in the fourth quarter. It was the culmination of a beautifully orchestrated 90-yard drive.

On Thursday, Trubisky was named Week 13's FedEx Air Player of the Week.

Titans running back Derrick Henry was the FedEx Ground winner after running for 149 yards and a touchdown in Tennessee's win over the Colts.

The Bears need a hot-handed Trubisky Thursday night against the Cowboys in Week 14's must-win game. If he plays the way he did against the Lions, Chicago will be well-positioned to pull off an upset at home in front of a national audience.

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Experts taking Cowboys over Bears in critical Week 14 showdown

Experts taking Cowboys over Bears in critical Week 14 showdown

Thursday night's showdown between the Dallas Cowboys (6-6) and Bears (6-6) will have a playoff-like feel to it, as both teams are jockeying for a postseason berth. The Cowboys need to keep winning in order to maintain their lead over the Philadelphia Eagles in the NFC East, while the Bears have to win-out (and get some help) to stay alive over the final four weeks.

If the experts are right about their predictions this week, GM Ryan Pace and the rest of the Bears organization will turn their attention to the 2020 offseason on Friday morning.

According to NFL Pick Watch, 68 percent of experts polled are taking the Cowboys to win the game. It's isn't all that shocking considering quarterback Dak Prescott is in the MVP conversation and running back Ezekiel Elliott is a perennial threat to win the NFL rushing title.

The Bears are a three-point home underdog, too. Whether it's football media picking against them or the oddsmakers in Vegas assuming they'll lose by at least six points (remember, the home team usually gets a three-point edge), Chicago is the quintessential underdog Thursday night.

And isn't that exactly where this Bears team should be? Let's face it, they put themselves in this position. Losses to the Eagles, Chargers and Raiders earlier in the season are just as embarrassing now as they were then, and had the BEars managed to win even one of those matchups against likely non-playoff teams, the road to the postseason wouldn't be nearly as daunting.

Instead, the Bears must win-out, and it starts Thursday night in a game most analysts think they'll lose.

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