Chicago Bears Defense Sets Tone but Offense Lays Egg

The Chicago Bears stifled Aaron Rodgers and Co. throughout the first quarter. The Packers took the field first but after a quick three and out the defense set the tone. Eddie Pineiro quickly won over a rabid fanbase starting his rookie season 1 for 1 on a 38-yard attempt giving the Bears an early lead.

The Bears offense sputtered for most of the first part of this game giving the Packers hope. Rodgers reminded Chuck Pagano and his defensive unit why he is considered one of the best in the league. Green Bay used the Bears aggressiveness against them with play-action calls. Rodgers did the rest. Four plays later Jimmy Graham grabbed a jump ball over Deon Bush in the end zone. Just like that Packers up 7-3.

The first half proves to be a defensive standoff between two rivals expected to be high-powered offenses. Neither offense is particularly spectacular. The Green Bay defense is matching this Chicago unit blow for blow. Mitchell Trubisky looks flustered and has missed some easy throws, but Rodgers isn’t exactly lighting the world on fire. The NFL is celebrating 100 years with a throwback game reminiscent of 1919.

The mighty defense of the Bears is doing its job but the offense cannot muster a meaningful first down. Punt after punt, the crowd warned Chicago’s coaching staff, “This is unacceptable,” with a barrage of boos at the break. Each squad walked down its respective tunnel at half-time without much to talk about. It is hard not to criticize the “Offensive Guru,” Matt Nagy but his offense and quarterback look out of place. It is certainly too early to state Trubisky has regressed because it is only week one and the Packer defense is playing beyond expectations.

The Bears have to start feeling a sense of urgency as the third quarter evaporated before national television with nothing to show for it. This opening night exemplifies the major knock on Nagy; he abandons the run too early and too often. This is the same philosophy that cost Kansas City a meltdown two seasons ago in the playoffs. There are at least two backs that can make plays but they have to touch the ball in order to do so.

This offensive display resembles a coach who recognized his quarterback’s ongoing criticism during the offseason and has to prove his undying belief of No. 10. Meanwhile, he is not trusting in the best defense on the planet and a running game that he has praised since the drafting of third-round pick, David Montgomery. It seems Nagy is the only one in the stadium that forgets just how good Mr. Rodgers is. If you continually give him chances, eventually he will burn you.

One thing we are learning is Roquan Smith is an early Defensive Player of the Year award. Roy Robertson-Harris probably cemented his starting position opposite Akiem Hicks, and Leonard Floyd is a beast when he is healthy.  Kyle Fuller continues to prove why he is not only deserving of his contract but also his payday. This defense picked up where it left off the 2018-19 season, earning five sacks, five passes defended, but zero turnovers.

Only a hand full of runs in the second half may not be the best strategy moving forward. Pass after pass after pass provided exactly three points with about 1:33 left in the game. Bad playcalling, a lopsided offensive scheme, and poor execution is the eventual demise of opening night in Chicago. Nagy and Co. have some serious soul-searching to do in order to return to last year’s magic. The one thing we do know, the 2018 season started 0-1, that loss coming at the hands of the Green Bay Packers.

The Bears laid an egg on opening night but there is no need to panic. The defense is where it needs to be and proved they can replicate last year’s magic. Trubisky, Nagy and the rest of the offense need to learn how to balance this offense. Perhaps taking advantage of the preseason opportunities would have helped… Packers ultimately take this one 10-3 but there is a long season ahead. 10 penalties for 107 yards certainly didn’t help.

Until then, stay thirsty and Bear Down! JT out.

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