Bears Offense Fought Through a Mess to Arrive at Other Side
Bears wide receiver Allen Robinson spoke in the locker room after Club Dub and the 31-24 win late Thursday night over Dallas.
The topic was how Mitchell Trubisky could look so good after being so bad earlier in the year.
"I think that just in general we've been able to get everything going around him," Robinson said. "I think that's the biggest thing."
It's what Bears coach Matt Nagy had said for several weeks during their four-game losing streak earlier, and even early in their current stretch of four wins in five games.
Mitchell Trubisky alone wasn't to blame, Nagy maintained. Nagy said the offense is struggling because the entire offense is struggling, players and coaches included, and not just Trubisky.
The popular national narrative turned Trubisky into the scapegoat. At best, he's a developing quarterback who hasn't yet developed, it went.
In the last three games, Trubisky is 77 of 110 for 860 yards with a 99.1 passer rating and a very healthy 7.8 yards per attempt.
The jump has come without a regular tight end or even the second-string tight ends, and without wide receiver Taylor Gabriel. The haven't had tackle Bobby Massie for two games, either.
If it was merely Trubisky becoming better, a jump in passer rating from 82.2 through 10 games to 99.1 like in the last three would be difficult to achieve. A jump from 5.6 yards per pass attempted to 7.8 would definitely be difficult to achieve.
"I would continually go back to it's not just one person, it's everybody," Nagy said. "When you have the entire phase of the offense, everybody working together in unison, whether it's the offensive line blocking, pass protecting, run blocking, wide receivers getting open, running the right routes, it makes your job as a quarterback a lot easier."
Trubisky didn't exactly jump on this thought process and roll with it, to his credit. He was all in for some of the blame for earlier problems and for some of the praise.
"I think everyone is just doing their job as an offense," Trubisky said. "I think we're executing really well off the board.
"We're practicing really well. Coaches have been calling great games. We just need to keep getting better, stay hungry."
The improvement began earlier than some might have imagined, however.
"We felt it against the Chargers," Nagy said "We just weren't good in the red zone, right? But we felt like, OK we're moving the ball, that we were limiting three-and-outs. "
"And ever since then there's just a great confidence amongst the teammates. They're feeling it, we're feeling it and I think it's reflecting in the game.
Nagy views this entire process for the offense as fighting through their problems and then reaching the other side.
"It's inevitable, every year, I don't know when it's going to come, but most teams at some point in time will hit some type of adversity," Nagy said. "We went through a four-game stretch. It was difficult in a lot of different ways.
"But I've talked about silver linings. I still don't know what that is, where it's at. It will show up somewhere. What I do like is I think one thing is for sure, everybody is seeing what type of people we have on this football team. No one has flinched. We've pulled together, become even tighter. We're winning football games now. We're playing as a team."
Better blocking, better running, fewer penalties and Trubisky's better passing have put the Bear back in relevance heading into a Week 15 game at Green Bay.
"Yeah that's the goal for us, to play meaningful games," Nagy said. "For whatever reason, wherever you're at, every year, they're all going to be different when you get to this moment. But I'm being completely honest with you when I tell you, I'm just happy for the players, that they've gotten themselves to this point.
"Some day I'll look back on this season and I'll always come back to how we handled where we're at right now. And I know we still have games left, but this is their moment to be able to, hey, just keep doing what we're doing. Don't make it too big, don't make it too little, let's just stay the course. But the players have worked hard to get to this point. The coaches have helped out. And now we've made it a meaningful game. So we'll see."
They fought their way through to the other side, and wound up in Green Bay against the team it all started against.