Exactly how important is balance for the Chicago Bears?

Following the loss in the season opener, Chicago Bears fans had something to look forward to. Head coach Matt Nagy said he wanted the offense to have a “more balanced attack.” 

As he made the comment, all of Chicago breathed a sigh of relief. After all, the week one game against the Packers was everything but balanced. The Bears had only 16 first downs in the game, moving the chains on just three of 15 third-down opportunities.

The offense ran a total of 65 plays in the game. Quarterback Mitch Trubisky threw 45 passes, completing only 26 of them, plus one to the Packers. Mitch tossed the ball for 208 yards and was sacked five times for a loss of 20 yards.  Chicago ran the ball only 15 times for a total of 46 yards. Math has never been my strong point, but if my numbers are correct, that’s 3.1 yards per carry. Not horrible. Simply not good enough to beat a Green Bay defense that was much better than any of us anticipated. Surely that was it. As great as Chicago’s defense is, the offense just needed some balance, and they would be fine.

Here’s the thing. Balance is an amazing thing. When you’re walking. In the game of football, especially on offense, balance doesn’t always equal success. Sunday afternoon in Denver was a perfect example.

I know I know. A win is a win. Regardless of how ugly it is. The Bears are 1-1. To make things even better, Chicago might just have a kicker. Eddy Pineiro had nine of Chicago’s 16 points. There’s some balance in those numbers.

As far as the offense goes, Chicago ran a total of 56 plays with the ball. They kept the ball on the ground for 29 rushing attempts. Trubisky threw the ball a total of 27 times, completing 16 of them. After doing all they could to gain 254 total yards on offense in week one, the Bears racked up 273 in Denver. Yes, an improvement. The offense had balance and gained 19 more yards. 

In Denver, the Bears ran the ball for over five yards a carry. When you’re that productive with the ball on the ground, why in the world would you be concerned with balance?

Before you run off to the comment section to tell me the number of average yards per carry was juiced, I’m well aware of wide receiver Cordarrelle Paterson’s 46-yard run. No, he’s more than likely not going to have 50 rushing yards on just two carries again this season. But still, Allen Robinson was the leading receiver for Chicago with 41 yards on four receptions. 

Trubisky didn’t get sacked in Denver. That’s a much-needed improvement after the loss in week one. Dude had 120 passing yards in the game. That’s it. He averaged 4.4 yards per completion. Blame the offensive line, blame Fangio’s Denver defense, put it on whoever you want. He threw the ball for an average of 4.4 yards per completion. But, the Bears won the game and the offensive attack was balanced. Let me ask you something. How comfortable are you depending on a kicker for a win in the playoffs? 

Tarik Cohen averaged 4.5 yards per carry. He only had four carries. David Montgomery only ran the ball 18 times. He averaged 3.4 yards every time he was handed the ball. Just in case you are wondering, Chicago lost the battle for the clock. They had the ball for 27:01 while Denver had possession for 32:59.

Think about this for just a second. Eddy Pineiro had to make three field goals for the Bears to win, two of which were over 52 yards. What in the world would be going on in Chicago right now had he missed the 53-yarder as time expired?

With the numbers Cohen and Montgomery had, there’s no reason they shouldn’t have had 30 to 35 carries between the two of them. That’s the entire point of having them both on the roster. Both of them are needed and add value to the team. Use them. Instead, the Bears had balance. And they won. On a last-second 53-yard field goal. Heck of a game, defense. Thank you. Rant over.


Jeffrey Stevens

Jeffrey has been involved with the sports writing industry since 2014. He's had articles featured on websites such as Sports Illustrated, Bleacher Report, and Yahoo Sports. He currently writes for Cappers Picks as an analyst and handicapper.

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