Entire Bears Season Hinges Now on Offense, Trubisky
The Bears believe they've experienced a rebirth within their offense over the last five games.
In a noon game Sunday meaning everything to them, they'll encounter the team that caused the demise of what they initially planned to do on offense this season.
It's up to the offense to avoid letting the Packers knock it all down again.
"I just feel like we have a new-found identity of what we want to do, and everybody is really locked into what they have to do within their job description on the offense," quarterback Mitch Trubisky said. "We've just got to go out there and play hard and play hungry and come ready to play and execute what we've got to do."
The Green Bay Packers quickly scuttled Bears plans to unleash Matt Nagy Offense Level 200 upon the league. This led to Plan B, an offense trying to fit better what Trubisky can do.
He moves, he throws, he runs sometimes, and comes in off a 63-yard rushing effort against Dallas, by far his best of this season.
If the Bears (7-6) don't get better results than last time against Green Bay (10-3), and Minnesota defeats the Los Angeles Chargers or the Rams beat the Cowboys, then the rest of the season means nothing to the Bears beyond assessing talent.
"They had a lot of great success against us obviously in that first game," Nagy said.
Nagy blamed himself for some of those troubles.
"I felt like personally, and I said this after Week 1, I didn't do a good enough job as a coach getting our guys ready for that game," Nagy said.
Trubisky took much of the blame as the offense struggled along at a low level afterward for weeks, even while they started 3-1. Then came the four-game losing streak that left the Bears in their current plight of fighting uphill to get into the playoff picture.
In the last three games, the Bears have scored 74 point. It's the largest scoring outburst they've had over a three-game stretch since the three-games-in-12-days ordeal they encountered last year in late November.
So even amid the backdrop Sunday of the Bears-Packers rivalry reaching Game No. 200, the Bears have refocused more simply on operating effectively with the ball.
"I mean, the rivalry is important for sure," Trubisky said. "The rivalry is very important. But I just feel like where we're at as a team, we're just hungry, that whoever is on our schedule next, we're going to come ready to play where we're playing with confidence."
It's a strange time for the Bears to be playing better offense considering their No. 2 receiver, their starting right tackle and their first three tight ends are all out injured.
They've overcome these deficiencies, just like the defense has overcome missing its two starting inside linebackers, Danny Trevathan and Roquan Smith.
Now the defense gets Akiem Hicks back on the line but needs any edge it can find because Aaron Rodgers is 17-5 against them lifetime, and will definitely try to work on backup linebackers Nick Kwiatkoski and Kevin Pierre-Louis.
So the defense will be up against it even with Hicks, and can use more help from their revamped offense than they received in the first Green Bay game.
"It's always a boost man when the offense is clicking and rolling and putting up points, especially when you can sit there and get some rest on long-play drives," linebacker Khalil Mack said. "So ultimately it affects the game just like we're going to affect the game for (the offense) as well."
The Bears relied on their defense to affect too many games on its own this season, even last season.
In Green Bay Sunday, this reborn offense must stand up or they all could be sitting among the group of teams eliminated from playoff contention.