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Bears-Packers Q&A: Assessing Matt Nagy’s offense in Year 2

Robert Zeglinski of SB Nation’s Chicago Bears blog Windy City Gridiron answers our questions about the team.

Dallas Cowboys v Chicago Bears Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

On Sunday, the Green Bay Packers host a rematch of their Week 1 victory over the Chicago Bears. Robert Zeglinski of Windy City Gridiron kindly volunteered to answer our questions about the Bears and provide some insight into their strengths and weaknesses.

APC: Matt Nagy’s offense has seemed to regress in Year 2, falling from 20th in DVOA at the end of 2018 to 25th entering Week 14 of the 2019 season. This decline comes after the Bears reworked their backfield to better fit Nagy’s scheme, traded up in the draft for running back David Montgomery and signing Mike Davis in free agency (though the team has subsequently released him). What do you make of Nagy’s offense at this point in his tenure? Are these just growing pains or signs of something more concerning?

It comes back to the quarterback. It always comes back to the quarterback. There have been a myriad of issues plaguing the Bears’ offense this year. From an offensive line in tatters, to irrelevant receivers (aside from Allen Robinson) and those mentioned tailbacks, everyone has underachieved. But if Mitchell Trubisky had proven capable of making basic progressions and throws on a consistent basis throughout the season, everyone in turn would’ve looked better. Good quarterbacks lift struggling offenses. Good quarterbacks overcome, no matter the circumstances. (I suppose no one might understand this quarterback paradox better than the late era Mike McCarthy Packers.) If Trubisky hadn’t been a deer in the headlights for most of his third professional season, the Bears wouldn’t be one game above .500. There wouldn’t be conversation surrounding potential competition for his job next summer. But that didn’t happen. And an already mediocre offense from last year, one outperformed by the corpse of Eli Manning and the Giants, regressed once he couldn’t make the mythical Leap. Nagy’s play-calling sometimes leaves something to desired, but I would absolve him of blame given how he’s pulled his team together from the abyss. It’s funny what happens when a quarterback starts to hit on your well-designed plays and reads.

Trubisky has started to look like a competent passer a team can lean on. The Bears have been winning because of his efforts for once. But the light bulb going off in his head likely turned on too late. Too little, too late.

We’d like to thank Robert. Be sure to check out the rest of our Q&A session with Windy over the course of the week as well as our Q&A session over there. As always, keep your internet machines tuned to Acme Packing Company this Sunday for our comprehensive game-day coverage of Bears versus Packers.