The Chicago Bears offense was uninspiring once again Sunday night in the team's 17-7 loss to the Los Angeles Rams. While they could've had another six points had kicker Eddy Pineiro connected on two early-game field goals, it still wouldn't have been enough to win the most important game of the season.
After 11 weeks (10 games), the Bears rank 28th in points per game with 16.9. To put their brutal season in perspective, the New York Jets, who've been atrocious this year, are averaging 16.4 points per game.
Essentially, Matt Nagy has coached Chicago's offense as effectively as Adam Gase has coached the Jets'.
Still, it's worth acknowledging strong individual performances in the midst of an overall letdown, and in Week 11's loss to the Rams, it was running back Tarik Cohen who stood tallest among his Bears' offensive teammates.
Cohen posted Chicago's highest Pro Football Focus grade on offense with a 74.3. He logged 45 snaps, 10 more than David Montgomery, and was effective when he touched the ball. He totaled 74 yards and a touchdown on 14 touches en route to being the Bears' most effective running back against a tough Rams defensive front. Montgomery managed just 31 yards on 14 carries.
Cohen hasn't had the kind of season that was expected from his role as a do-it-all offensive weapon; he's way behind his normal pace of production as both a runner and receiver. Cohen had 99 carries for 444 yards and three touchdowns to go along with 71 catches for 725 yards and five scores in 2018. He's on pace for just 186 rushing yards and 402 receiving yards this season.
Still, Sunday night's effort was a step in the right direction for him and a sign that he may continue to get more touches as the season comes to a close.
Looks can often be deceiving, but in the case of Bears left guard James Daniels, his physical transformation this offseason has him looking like a player ready to breakout.
Check it out:
Daniels will enter his third season in the league after being a second-round pick out of Iowa in 2018. Originally pegged as a center, Daniels has settled in at guard while Cody Whitehair returned to his best fit in the middle of the o-line.
Daniels owned the Bears' third-highest grade on offense from Pro Football Focus in 2019 (69.9) after logging 508 snaps at center and 561 at guard. His switch to left guard occurred in Week 10 and his uptick in performance was obvious.
Chicago will have one new starter upfront this year, with Germain Ifedi expected to take hold of the right guard job. He should be a fine replacement for Kyle Long (and Rashaad Coward), but it's Daniels who has a chance to emerge as the Bears' best offensive lineman if his physical condition is any indication of the year that's in store.
The Las Vegas Raiders released former second-round pick P.J. Hall on Monday, providing Bears GM Ryan Pace with another viable option to add to Chicago's defensive front after Eddie Goldman's decision to opt-out of the 2020 season.
Hall (6'0, 305 pounds) doesn't fit the prototypical nose tackle profile, but with the Bears' depth chart lacking many quality options behind Goldman, Hall is worth considering.
As it currently stands, veteran John Jenkins will be the first man up to replace Goldman once he returns from the Reserve/COVID-19 list. A rotation of Bilal Nichols and Roy Robertson-Harris should help too, especially on passing downs. But with so much uncertainty around how the Bears will configure their defensive line without Goldman in place, a rotational piece like Hall is appealing.
Hall was selected by the Raiders in the 2018 draft after a standout career at Sam Houston State. He started 18 games over the last two seasons for Vegas, including 12 in 2019. He finished last season with 26 tackles and 1.5 sacks. Hall is an interesting special teams player, too. He blocked 14 (yeah, 14!) kicks during his college career.