The Bears offense has not been good this season. There have been times when they hit on big plays, or put together efficient drives, but for the most part they’ve struggled. There are plenty of reasons why: subpar pass protection, skill players dropping the ball in critical situations, untimely penalties, and a lack of chemistry between Justin Fields and his pass catchers are just a few of those reasons. But the Bears have remained confident that they’re on the precipice of putting everything together.
“I think we’re very close to having a breakout game,” Fields said. “All we need to do is put the little plays together, put all of our positive plays together and come up with multiple TD-scoring drives. So like I said, we’re close.”
When asked why he feels that way, Fields said there was nothing specific, no one thing he could point to in practice or meetings that gives him the confidence that the offense is ready to flip a switch and start scoring points.
“I can feel it,” Fields said. “Just feel it. You just have those feelings. You just feel it. It’s coming.”
Fields isn’t the only one with those feelings. Heading into the Buccaneers game, Darnell Mooney expressed a similar sentiment.
“Things are going to eventually pop, and when it does, it’s going to be extremely fun,” Mooney said last week.
Obviously Week 7 was not the week things came together. But Mooney said he’s felt this feeling before, and things did end up popping.
“My junior year in college, yeah, I did,” Mooney said. “It was definitely one of the same feelings that I had when I was in college. It was a process then, coming in with a new OC at that point in time. Then, things didn’t pick up at the beginning, but they did at the end, and we were rolling, so hopefully the same thing happens here.”
There was a stark difference between the two halves of the college season at Tulane that Mooney mentioned. Over the first half of the season (not counting the Green Wave’s one game against an FCS opponent) they averaged 21.3 points per game and went 1-5. After that they improved drastically, going 5-1 while scoring 29.3 points per game.
Mooney’s example from Tulane also sounds similar to the situation the Bears find themselves in now. While the Bears are still running Matt Nagy’s offense, offensive coordinator Bill Lazor has taken on an expanded role, now calling the plays. It’s only been a few weeks, but you can sense the difference between Nagy’s play calling and Lazor’s. It remains to be seen however, whether this “feeling” will truly translate to an offensive transformation in Chicago.
Nagy also expressed confidence that things will turn around, but the one thing he doesn’t want his team to do is try too hard to enact that change.
“You can get to a point to where you’re struggling and things don’t feel like they’re going your way and then people start to press,” Nagy said. “That’s what we don’t want. We don’t want our players pressing. That’s going to have to start with us as coaches in making sure our mentality is that we stay loose and that we know that we can be a lot better.
“We know it because we see it on tape. The stuff that we show on film that we’ve done in the past, it’s there, and now it’s just a matter of putting it all together. You talk about Justin and you talk about him getting started within this offense and all of us trying to be better, you talk about whether it’s the timing with the wide receivers or whether it’s the communication with the O-line, all of that stuff is going to come.”