Advertising

Bears striving for consistency on offense

howard_091218

The Bears' first possession of the 2018 season was a thing of beauty.

The first time they touched the ball Sunday night in Green Bay, quarterback Mitchell Trubisky capped a 10-play, 86-yard drive with a two-yard touchdown run.

Trubisky completed 4 of 4 passes for 54 yards on the possession, including a 31-yarder to Taylor Gabriel and a 15-yarder to Trey Burton on third-and-two from the Green Bay 17. The Bears also mixed in the run as Tarik Cohen (two carries for 18 yards) and Jordan Howard (2-6) combined to rush for 24 yards on four attempts.

"It was good to see because you get to understand where we can get this thing to offensively," coach Matt Nagy said earlier this week on the Bears Coaches Show on WBBM Newsradio 780 AM and 105.9 FM. "I think it showed all the hard work they put in in training camp. To go [10] plays with a touchdown the first drive ever with this offense and with that group of guys out there, I was so happy for them."

Unfortunately, the Bears offense was unable to score another touchdown the rest of the night, settling for field goals on all three of their red-zone trips after their first drive. They also failed to pick up a first down on five of their final eight possessions in the game.

"What we need to understand is that we have to eliminate the three-and-outs," Nagy said. "Those are hard, especially when your defense is playing as well as they were. We can't get field goals. We need to execute in the red zone and of course we need to get first downs on third-and-one."

Nagy was referencing a third-and-one play early in the fourth quarter when the Bears were trying to protect a 20-10 lead. Trubisky threw short to tight end Dion Sims, who was tackled for no gain. The Bears were forced to punt, and the Packers followed by closing the gap to 20-17 on Aaron Rodgers' 12-yard TD pass to Davante Adams.

It was particularly frustrating for the Bears to settle for three field goals after failing to convert on third-and-goal from the 3, third-and-nine from the 15 and third-and-two from the 14.

"There are some situations that we as coaches feel like we could be better at and we also feel like execution [needs to improve] as well," Nagy said. "This isn't just one thing here in regards to the red-zone plays and execution. We'll get that fixed and the guys will understand that we'll do everything we possibly can to put them in a good situation. And then when we do put them in that situation, they need to make plays."

The Bears offense is hoping to build on what it accomplished on its first two drives of the season.

"It's there, and the consistency of doing that is what we've got to find," Nagy said. "What we need to do is just make sure that we try not to do too much within the system and then we make it nice and clean and fast, for example, for Mitchell at the line of scrimmage. Don't give him too much to where it slows him down. The kid is very smart. He's very talented. What we can't do is paralyze him by the old paralysis by analysis. We can't do that, and that's our fault as coaches if we do. We need to balance that.

"That didn't happen [Sunday] night. But we have to make sure in all phases, and defense as well, let's make sure that we can let our guys play fast."

Looking to rebound from Sunday night's difficult loss, the Bears will return to the practice field Thursday to begin preparing for Monday night's home opener against the Seahawks.

"I'm really anxious to see how our guys recover from this, and I know they will," Nagy said. "We have such good guys and such good people, high character guys. We're just going to be at a point now where we've got to have a solid week of practice.

"We've got to refocus. We can't dwell on the past. It was a big game for us. We didn't win it. Am I happy about it? Absolutely not. But we're not going to dwell on it. We know we've got a big game coming up at home against Seattle and that's what we're going to be focused on."

Advertising