Bears' Revamped Offense Finding Its Form

The Bears believe they're establishing an offensive identity.

Chris Emma
December 06, 2019 - 2:44 pm
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LAKE FOREST, Ill. (670 The Score) -- The early struggles of the Bears' offense started with coach Matt Nagy, and he came to accept that.

During the Bears' loss to the Saints on Oct. 20, they ran the ball a franchise-low seven times while throwing the ball 54 times. It was a low point for Nagy's tenure in Chicago, and he took ownership of it.

Nagy met with the Bears days later and promised their offense would form an identity. He was prepared to adapt to his personnel with the hope of saving their season.

Finding that identity took patience from the play-caller Nagy and commitment from the Bears amid a difficult stretch, but it has being revealed in balance and production amid their three-game winning streak and a fight for the playoffs.

During the Bears' 31-24 win over the Cowboys on Thursday at Soldier Field, their offense gained 382 yards and 5.7 yards per play -- including 7.4 yards per dropback and 4.4 yards per carry. It featured quarterback Mitchell Trubisky going 23-of-31 for 244 yards and three touchdown passes while also rushing 10 times for 63 yards and a score. Rookie running back David Montgomery ran 20 times for 86 yards, part of Chicago's 151 yards on the ground.

Nine different players had touches, with the Bears' sharing of the wealth a basic element to Nagy's offense.

"We’re confident right now," Nagy said Friday. "Confidence is a huge factor in this thing."

Nagy's offensive identity is based on timing, but he had to adjust when his personnel struggled with that. Trubisky often struggled with his internal clock, the offensive line had breakdowns, the receivers struggled to complete their routes and plays broke down.

Now, the Bears are operating plays with greater precision. Trubisky is making decisions with confidence and the ball is getting out quickly. More specifically, the Bears are using greater tempo to allow Trubisky to think less, better utilizing Trubisky's mobility by moving the pocket and calling more play-action to keep defenses honest.

"Let the guys play fast," Nagy said. "Get the play calls in as fast as I can, so they can think at the line of scrimmage of what's going on, what they're seeing. 

"Speed, tempo, and just getting into rhythms."

When the season ends for the Bears, a serious self-assessment of this offense will take place. Nagy will evaluate his scheme and whether it's best suited for his personnel, while general manager Ryan Pace will take inventory on what players Nagy needs to be successful.

But for now, the Bears will hold on to their bleak playoff hopes -- 5 percent, according to FiveThirtyEight -- with the belief that a blooming offensive identity can give them the boost they need for the stretch run. 

As three straight wins have extended the Bears' run of meaningful football, Nagy has appreciated the way his team remained united during the tough times -- particularly when the dominant defense was carrying its struggling offense.

"The type of people that we have on this team, I wouldn't want it any other way," Nagy said. "These guys have proven to me and our staff what they're all about. Never once did they start pointing fingers. They never flinched. We became closer through all of it."

Chris Emma covers the Bears, Chicago’s sports scene and more for 670TheScore.com. Follow him on Twitter @CEmma670.