Studs and Duds from Bears' Week 8 loss to Chargers


The Bears' season is officially on life support after Week 8's loss to the Los Angeles Chargers, dropping their record to an NFC North worst 3-4 while raising more questions about Mitch Trubisky and the playcalling of Matt Nagy.

Nagy stuck to his word and ran the ball -- David Montgomery had 27 carries -- but his change in offensive philosophy did little to prevent criticism about his decision-making. Nagy was a big contributor to the Bears' loss, but he wasn't alone.

Here are the studs and duds from Sunday's season-threatening defeat.

Stud: RB David Montgomery

Montgomery was everything the Bears thought he'd be when they drafted him in the third round of April's draft during Sunday's loss to the Chargers. He finished the game with 27 carries for 135 yards and a touchdown, but his impact extended beyond the stats. It was the way he ran that was so exciting to watch. He was patient, ran with great pad level, flashed quick feet and an explosive burst, not to mention his trademark contact balance. The loss is hard to stomach, but Montgomery is a clear bright spot for an offense that feels like it's increasingly closer to a change at quarterback. A talented running back like Montgomery can help that process along, if and when it happens.

Dud: QB Mitchell Trubisky

Trubisky flashed a handful of good throws against the Chargers, but his performance was another in a growing list of games that support the position that he just isn't good enough to be considered a starting quarterback in the NFL. He completed 23-of-35 passes for 253 yards and an interception, numbers consistent with what would be expected from a journeyman backup like Chase Daniel. And maybe that's the type of player Trubisky is destined to become. There were a few obvious bad moments from Trubisky that most fans and media will point to -- like the head-scratching interception thrown toward Trey Burton and the fourth-quarter fumble that the Chargers ultimately converted into the game-winning touchdown -- but the concerns with Trubisky run even deeper than that. Week after week, Trubisky is creating doubt about whether he can connect on basic NFL throws. He's missing open receivers every single game, including Sunday when he sailed a would-be touchdown several yards beyond a wide-open Taylor Gabriel. Trubisky targets covered receivers, routinely throws off his back foot and his passes often wobble like Nerf balls on a windy day. It doesn't feel like this is going to get better any time soon.

Stud: RG Rashaad Coward

The offensive line was roasted when the running game was struggling, so it's only fair to give them their due after Montgomery's breakout day. Coward, who was making the second start of his career, was a big reason why Montgomery found some running lanes inside. The more reps Coward receives, the better he's going to be for this team in 2019 and beyond. It's only one game, but the Bears may have found their right guard of the future.

Dud: RT Bobby Massie

Unlike Coward, Massie was downright brutal on Sunday. Chargers edge rusher Joey Bosa treated Massie like a subway turnstile; there was little resistance in Bosa's path to Trubisky. Massie couldn't match Bosa's hand-play, and even when he got a good jump out of his stance, Bosa's ridiculous bend around the corner was just too much for Massie to handle. It was a great display of an above-average offensive tackle going against an elite pass-rusher. Massie's been very solid in 2019, but Sunday was by far the worst game he's played in a long time.

Dud: Matt Nagy

What a difference seven regular-season games can make in the narrative surrounding a head coach. Nagy, the reigning NFL Coach of the Year, began the season as the key that would unlock Trubisky's potential and unleash a more dangerous version of a Bears offense that was good enough to help Chicago win a division title in 2018. Instead, the Bears offense has regressed mightily, and even with a rejuvenated rushing attack in Week 8, Chicago still struggled to string together drives that made sense or a passing game that had any rhythm. Nagy isn't developing Trubisky, the Bears' most important asset. And instead of helping his rookie kicker by trying to get his game-winning attempt a few yards closer, Nagy decided it was a better strategy to take a knee and avoid a potential fumble or loss of yards. It backfired, much like everything else he's called in 2019.

Where do the Bears go from here? The NFL trade deadline is a few days away, and if GM Ryan Pace thinks this team is still capable of making a run at the playoffs, a deal for a quarterback has to be considered. If he decides a trade isn't feasible, then Nagy has to at least open a quarterback competition between Trubisky and Daniel over the remaining nine games. No, Daniel isn't the answer for this team. But it doesn't appear like Trubisky is, either. So at this point, it comes down to who gives the Bears the best chance to win the rest of the way. It's not an easy answer, which is an extremely troubling reality for the former second overall pick.

Contact Us