It felt like all of Chicago shut down Thursday for the culmination for what was to be a season-long party just to watch the Chicago Bears fizzle out.
Grant Park was shut down for a pre-game concert while everyone across the city donned Bears attire. Everybody came to the game to celebrate the start of the Bears 100th season including former players and celebrities.
The 85 Super Bowl team, Brian Urlacher, WWE Champions Seth Rollins was with women’s champ Becky Lynch, and even Jay Cutler came out to see the 2019 Bears team. The defense was ready, but when the moment came the offense was nowhere to be found.
The two biggest figureheads on offense were the main culprits in a 10-3 loss to the Green Bay Packers Thursday night. Quarterback Mitchell Trubisky and head coach Matt Nagy were responsible for the offense’s inept play against the Packers. Trubisky failed to go through his progressions and couldn’t find a receiver other than Allen Robinson. Nagy, who was hired for his offensive insight, had one of worst offensively called games in quite some time.
Defensively, the Bears could do wrong holding one of the best quarterbacks of this decade to just 10 points while sacking him five times. Despite two drives, the Bears defense shut down the Packers offense completely.
Sadly, those two drives would prove costly as the offense could do nothing.
Trubisky couldn’t handle the Packers exotic blitzes as Nagy could counteract what the Packers were doing defensively. With a so-called “three-headed monster” backfield with Tarik Cohen, Mike Davis, and rookie David Montgomery, the three backs combined for just 14 rushing attempts. The rookie running back who thrilled in his lone preseason game had just one rushing attempt in the second half.
Nagy’s play-calling on third down was the most egregious of the night as on multiple third and short situations he called questionable plays. On third and one in the first half, he called a dive play to wide receiver Cordarelle Patterson who was stopped for a loss. On another third and short, he called for a play-action short throw to tight end Adam Shaheen that broke down once Shaheen couldn’t get separation.
Many knew that the defense was going to be fine this season, but the offense was supposed to take that next step. With another offseason under Nagy’s playbook, some projected Trubisky as an MVP candidate. The offensive personnel was tailored in the offseason to resemble the Kansas City Chiefs and Philadelphia Eagles offenses. It was all for naught in game one as the team was held to just three points.
Trubisky failed to go through his progression as his weakness of locking on to his receiver led to the only turnover of the night. Late in the fourth, he threw into double coverage targeting Robinson in the end zone. It was intercepted by former Bear safety Adrian Amos who read the play all the way. It is a throw that no quarterback can afford to make in a late-game situation like that one.
What is the most disheartening aspect of the loss to the Packers Thursday night is that the offense had a chance to prepare. Nagy sat all of his offensive starters during the preseason and it showed. An offensive line that had 11 holding penalties in 2018, had nearly half of that against the Packers. Trubisky looked uneasy and inaccurate throughout the game while not looking for his second and third passing options. Through 18 meaningful games, the coach hired for his offensive innovation has overseen an offense that has scored 24 or fewer points in 11 of those games.
The stars aligned over Soldier field to open the season as before kickoff nothing could go wrong. Everything was going to script for the Chicago Bears until it came time to perform. When it came time to perform, the coach and quarterback forgot everything and laid a dud at the worst moment for their team, the city, and the fans.