Bears grades: quarterback, coaching failures strike again 



Mitch Trubisky largely played within himself over the first 45 minutes of Sunday’s game, with only one noticeably bad throw (a slant thrown behind Allen Robinson at the goal line in the second quarter). He looked in rhythm on downfield throws and was comfortable in the pocket, even in the face of pressure. It was why I tweeted this…

… Right before Trubisky was baited by Casey Hayward Jr. into throwing an interception. 

Trubisky’s worst throw of the game followed that interception. On play action with a clean pocket, the Bears managed to get speedy wideout Taylor Gabriel matched up against 36-year-old linebacker Thomas Davis. Gabriel had Davis beat downfield, and all he needed was Trubisky to hit him in stride for a touchdown that would’ve put the Bears up 23-10 with nine minutes left.

Trubisky overthrew Gabriel. On the next play, he lost a fumble, which the Chargers recovered at the Bears’ 26-yard-line and converted into a go-ahead touchdown. 

Credit Trubisky for driving the Bears into game-winning field goal range with some big-time throws and a 12-yard scramble. But he should’ve put the game away before that last-ditch effort. 


David Montgomery carved up 135 yards on 27 carries, and broke a 55-yarder in the second quarter — the kind of haymaker that comes with a commitment to jabbing an opposing defensive front all afternoon. If there’s anything positive to take away from the offense on Sunday, it’s Montgomery finally getting the opportunity to look like the guy the Bears billed him as being when they traded up in the third round to draft him in April. 

Tarik Cohen, though, didn’t make much of an impact beyond snagging a 31-yard deep ball (he had four carries for nine yards). Mike Davis played a little more and contributed in pass protection a few times. 


Anthony Miller, Allen Robinson and Taylor Gabriel were not the problem on Sunday. Those three combined for 182 yards, and it should’ve been more had Trubisky connected with Gabriel on that aforementioned deep ball miss in the fourth quarter. Miller had his best game of the season, catching all three of his targets for 67 yards, including a 35-yard snag. Robinson continued to play like one of the better receivers in the NFL, too. 


The Bears still need more from Trey Burton, but the one catch he had — a tough 16-yarder on the Bears’ final drive — was his best play of the season. Adam Shaheen was targeted twice but had both those passes broken up. 

Raising this grade is the play of J.P. Holtz, who did well both as a fullback and in-line blocker to help the Bears’ run game be as effective as it was. 


This group got into a good run blocking rhythm as the game went on, which made it more curious why Nagy didn’t trust it and Montgomery to gain a few extra yards before Eddy Pineiro’s missed field goal.

Rashaad Coward was flagged for three penalties, though his holding call was somewhat questionable. Bobby Massie could’ve used some extra pass protection help on Joey Bosa, though Charles Leno Jr. played his best game of the year. 


Roy Robertson-Harris’ pressure in the face of Philip Rivers helped Kyle Fuller pick off a pass intended for Mike Williams, and this group held its own at the point of attack in limiting the effectiveness of Melvin Gordon (eight carries, 31 yards) and Austin Ekeler (three carries, three yards). It was a nice rebound performance after Jay Rodgers’ unit was beat up a bit by the Raiders and Saints without Akiem Hicks. 


Leonard Floyd had one of his didn’t-get-a-sack-but-still-made-an-impact games, especially against the run. Khalil Mack notched his first sack of October with a little help from Eddie Goldman, and Aaron Lynch had three quarterback hits. 


Roquan Smith played his best game in a while, and in tandem with the defensive line was a major reason why the Chargers averaged three yards per carry. Danny Trevathan was all over, too, totaling six tackles and breaking up a pass. 


Fuller out-muscled the big-bodied Williams for his interception, though he did appear to lose him in coverage on a 43-yard heave that set up the Chargers’ first touchdown of the game. While Keenan Allen was not at 100 percent, the Bears did well to limit the standout receiver to 7.6 yards per reception.


Outside of that deep ball to Williams and a 20-yard snag by tight end Hunter Henry, the Bears’ back end largely kept everything front of it and tackled well. Eddie Jackson, though, is now seven games into 2019 without an interception. 


Eddy Pineiro doinked a 33-yarder off the right upright in the first half, only adding to the pile of points the Bears left on the first in the first 30 minutes. He went on to hit three chip shots — from 22, 25 and 19 yards — before Nagy put the game on his right leg with time expiring. While, yes, this game never should’ve come to Pineiro hitting a game-winning field goal, he pushed it wide left. 


Nagy’s playcalling was questionable at best on a dozen goal-to-go plays in the first half, none of which resulted in a touchdown. He called for handoffs to Montgomery out of the shotgun twice, notable given Montgomery punched in a four-yard run out of the I-formation (with Holtz as a leading fullback) on the Bears’ first goal-to-go down in the second half. Shaheen and Cordarrelle Patterson were targeted as many times (two) as Robinson on those dozen plays, too. 

In the process, the Bears' offense left 12 points on the board in the first half. This is a game that never should’ve got to the point of Nagy calling a kneel down instead of trying to gain a few extra yards before Pineiro missed his 41-yard field goal with time expiring. 

The most worrying development out of Sunday’s game was a continued lack of success with the Bears’ coach-quarterback pairing. Not every play call Nagy made deserves scrutiny, but one some of the good ones, Trubisky made a bad decision (on the interception) or poor throw (on the overthrow to Gabriel).

The Bears’ offense is still broken, though it found a new way to be broken in Week 8. Nagy may very well keep his team from breaking, but if he can’t fix the offense, it won’t matter.

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