Opening up the season last Thursday at home against the Green Bay Packers, the Chicago Bears forgot to bring their offense, scoring just three points.
Third-year quarterback Mitchell Trubisky has really struggled in the last few games he’s played that have counted. But the one guy who continues to shine despite his quarterback’s play is veteran wide receiver Allen Robinson.
If defenses can take Robinson away at this point, they take away any semblance of a passing game for the Bears. Fortunately for Chicago and second-year head coach Matt Nagy, nobody has been able to slow down Robinson as of late.
It’s not heady stuff that he’s excelling on either. He’s a physical, vertical threat that wins with power and body control along the boundary. He’s exceptional on double moves and has shown the consistent ability to win 50/50 balls, outmuscling smaller corners.
A physical mismatch
Here against the Packers in Week 1, you can see Robinson lined up to the far side of the field against Tramon Williams, an obvious mismatch for his size and strength.
Trubisky excels at throwing the ball outside the numbers, where he can give Robinson a chance to go and get the ball. That’s what the former Penn State standout does here, outmuscling Williams to get back to this football for the catch.
Double moves beware
Should the Broncos not trail Robinson with a guy like Chris Harris, Jr., expect a lot of plays like this against Isaac Yiadom.
Nagy loves to dial up double moves for Robinson, especially around midfield. Chicago is a possession-style offense that loves to wear teams down with the run and short, quick crossing routes, but they’re not afraid to dial up the big play.
When they do, it’s usually Robinson, and a double move is likely included.
That little grab there from Philadelphia corner Avonte Maddox in the Wild Card round last year didn’t even faze Robinson.
Check out that double move — a slant and go — in the same game, this time against Cre’von LeBlanc.
Wow. You don’t see many better routes than that one right there.
Expect to see at least one double move go-route from Robinson on Sunday, should Trubisky show the ability to shake off a tough Week 1 performance and gain confidence pushing the ball down the field once again.
Living outside the numbers
The Bears will move Robinson all over the formation, but a majority of his targets will come outside the numbers. That’s where the Bears have targeted him heavily in the last two games that have counted. Don’t expect that to change all of a sudden. He’s carved out and area where he can dominate.
See ball, get ball
How the Broncos win
For the Broncos to have success on Sunday against Robinson and the Bears, they’ll obviously need to put a ton of pressure on Trubisky quickly, making him uncomfortable in the pocket. They’ll also need to assign CHJ to Robinson all game long.
There’s no point in letting Yiadom get torched again, as we all saw in Week 1 when the Raiders saw a matchup they liked on Yiadom and exploited it.
Nobody on the Bears offense should scare anyone right now, outside of Robinson. Put one of the best corners in the game on him every snap, and force guys like Taylor Gabriel, Anthony Miller, and Cordarrelle Patterson to beat you.
You can’t put on Bears tape, watch Robinson dominate outside the numbers, and not scheme against it, letting him carry the Bears to success. Vic Fangio knows this, since he went up against Trubisky, Robinson and Nagy in practice every day last year. Take away Robinson and there’s a good chance you shut down Chicago’s attack completely.