The question ate at everyone when the Bears decided they'd seen Matt Nagy's offense struggle so much for three years with quarterback Mitchell Trubisky that they would let their first-round pick of the 2017 draft leave in free agency.
Was it Trubisky, or was it Nagy's offense?
When Trubisky came back in preseason and torched the Bears for four touchdown drives it could be shrugged off by the anti-Trubisky crowd as a meaningless exhibition game with many reserves playing in the second quarter. But was it?
A different quarterback would surely make the difference and the Bears had a plan: Andy Dalton would play and Justin Fields would learn.
So far after three games it hasn't worked quite according to plan and still the answer to the original question looks entirely obvious. And it doesn't look good for Nagy and his offense.
It actually looks incredibly bad, and maybe this explains why he's considering changing play callers again.
In fact it's so bad it might be a good idea for the Bears to get that deal done for the Arlington race track property before Arlington Heights sees what it's getting and changes its mind.
The Bears are last in the NFL in total yards gained (575), last in average yards per play (3.3), last in passing yards (272), and last in passing yards per play (4.8). They've allowed the most sacks per pass attempt.
They are only next to last in scoring. They can offer a tip of the cap to the New York Jets for this.
Things were never this bad with Mitchell Trubisky at quarterback.
Where This Is Headed
Production like this can only lead to one resolution for a coaching staff in its fourth season, especially after failing to ever elevate the offense after the first season.
It's easy to look at the change in quarterbacks after almost six full quarters because of Andy Dalton's knee injury and blame lack of production on Fields' lack of experience.
The truth is, the Bears on offense under Dalton didn't exactly light it up, either. They had three touchdowns in six quarters and on one of those Dalton left the field for a play so Fields could come in and run in for the TD.
That one TD run when Dalton was actually the quarterback for the drive is the only time they've found the end zone with Fields at quarterback. The Bears offense has produced four field goals in six quarters with Fields running the attack as the starter.
The offense produced only 1.1 yards per play on Sunday, a ridiculous number and one so low it led to tight end Jimmy Graham retweeting it once it appeared on the internet—a press of the keyboard that earned him great scrutiny on social media and from coaches.
|Coach, Offensive Coordinator||Year||Scoring Rank||Yardage Rank|
Neill Armstrong, Ted Marchibroda
Dave Wannstedt, Ron Turner
Dick Jauron, John Shoop
Lovie Smith, Terry Shea
Lovie Smith, Mike Tice
John Fox, Dowell Loggains
Matt Nagy, Mark Helfrich
Matt Nagy, Bill Lazor
2021 (3 games)
**28-team league. *32-team league
"My relationship with a guy like Jimmy, you bringing up the tweet that he had or whatever, that was brought to my attention," Nagy said Monday. "Again, I would say the biggest thing with that is y'all understand, after a game, we all get very emotional. I think that's real. What you do is you talk and you figure out, OK, where we at? And you try to get better at all that. I respect these players so much, these guys care. That's all."
Another social media scandal came out of a video allegedly showing backup quarterback Nick Foles saying on the sidelines "Matt's offense just isn't working," to an injured Dalton during Sunday's loss. It's possible he did say it, but you couldn't even see his entire face in the video much less hear a single word he said.
What is certain is the statistical rot produced by the Bears offense. It's right there in print.
No one needs cryptic quotes, audible or in print, to see those.
It's worse than the John Shoop era of Bears offense. It's worse than when Adam Gase and Dowell Loggains ran the offense into the ground in Chicago, before they did it in Miami and then in New York. It's worse than when Mike Tice ran what some regarded as a "simplistic" high school offense.
It's almost as bad as when Terry Shea was offensive coordinator, and that's really, really bad.
Detroit Lions Should Love This
The Bears are hosting the Lions this week and the general attitude among Chicago fans will be they are getting Detroit at a good time because the Bears need a confidence-booster.
The Lions totally gutted their attack in the offseason to bring in skill-position players who were backups for some teams as their starters to complement Jared Goff.
Nevertheless, the Lions have an effective offensive line and a plan. Both have given the offense time to make plays regardless of who their skill position players are. They are rebuilding the right way and that's on the line of scrimmage.
The Bears, meanwhile, have had nothing on offense, period.
It's the reason in Detroit they should be saying they are getting the Bears at a good time.
A team can use a breather after getting ripped off by officiating incompetence and then losing on a 66-yard field goal the way the Lions did.
As for the Bears, after this game with the Lions they are playing at Las Vegas, hosting Green Bay, at Tampa Bay, hosting San Francisco, at Pittsburgh and finally hosting Baltimore.
There's nothing cryptic about that schedule and no one will need to read lips.
Long before the end of this stretch it's likely everyone will know where this season is headed.