If the first two games of the Bears 2019 season feel vaguely like the worst of times in the coaching tenure of Matt Nagy and quarterbacking career of Mitch Trubisky, it’s because this in fact has been the worst of times for Nagy and Trubisky both individually and together.
Not blaming anyone in particular, but as Nagy himself said this week; “I don't want to put it on one guy, I really don't, but [Trubisky] knows…and I know, that it always comes down to me and him.”
Trubisky hasn't thrown a touchdown pass in any of his last three regular-season games, including game 16 last year at Minnesota. No other NFL starter has gone TD-less over that stretch, with the exception of Cam Newton, who was put on IR after game 14 last season on his way to offseason shoulder surgery. Trubisky has gone two straight games without a TD pass twice previously, but both were in his rookie year under John Fox and Dowell Loggains.
For Trubisky the Green Bay and Denver games marked only the second time in his career that he has had consecutive games failing to top 70.0 for passer rating (he was at precisely 70.0 at Denver). Trubisky did stumble at home last season vs. Minnesota and then the Rams, but those games were separated by two weeks missed with a shoulder injury.
Using a variation of the time-honored James Bond axiom that “once is chance, twice is coincidence, three times is enemy action,” the concerning point here is that Trubisky has failed to reach even a 90 rating in any of his last four games. More alarming is that fact that he was not sacked at all in either game 16 against Minnesota or last Sunday in Denver.
Nagy has been through one losing season (2012) and one .500 year (2011) as a member of Andy Reid’s staff in Philadelphia.
The Nagy offense may run through Trubisky, but the issues for the group extend beyond the quarterback.
The first nearly seven full quarters of 2019 the offense went through before scoring a touchdown was concerning, if only because of Trubisky, his unit, the coaches and the fan base were so convinced a major positive leap was coming.
It was also by far the longest stretch without a touchdown of any kind under Nagy, approaching double the previous longest no-TD drought. That came last season when the offense scored a touchdown with 10 minutes to play in the third quarter against Tampa Bay, then not another one until 2 minutes into the third quarter at Miami – some 57 minutes without a TD.
When David Montgomery reached the football over the Denver goal line with 1:14 to play in Sunday’s third quarter, it ended a run of just shy of 104 minutes without a touchdown – offense, defense or special teams.
“I know to everybody else [offensive struggles] comes down to that one spot [quarterback],” Nagy said, “but to me it comes down to everything. there are so many parts included in this. He gets a lot of that, no doubt, but it's getting the run game going, making sure we have our execution in the pass game and different elements of the pass game, me calling things at the right time.
“It's all of us together.”
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