LAKE FOREST – Looking for positives in the Bears’ offense can be a bit tricky, but there is one area you can actually find consistency.
Maybe it’s a halftime speech, maybe it’s just getting a breath after what’s typically been a bad start. For whatever reason, Matt Nagy’s offense is always at their best once they come out of the locker room at halftime.
Six times the Bears have scored on their first drive of the third quarter, including the last five games. Against the Chargers, Eagles, Lions, Rams, and Giants, Mitchell Trubisky has led the offense on a lengthy touchdown drive to start the second half.
Here’s how each one has played out over the past five weeks.
Oct. – vs Chargers – 11 plays, 75 yards – four-yard touchdown run by David Montgomery
Nov. 3rd – at Eagles – 7 plays, 75 yards – one-yard touchdown run by Montgomery
Nov. 10th – vs Lions – 5 plays, 76 yards – Trubisky to Tarik Cohen nine-yard touchdown catch
Nov. 17th – at Rams – 12 plays, 80 yards – Trubisky to Cohen 14-yard touchdown catch
Nov. 24th – vs Giants – 5 plays, 60 yards – Trubisky to Allen Robinson 32-yard touchdown catch
The idea of this consistency at this level, at this moment in the game is a bit insane, considering all of the things that have been the opposite with the group that remains near the bottom of the NFL in yards (269.3, 29th) and points (17.1, 28th). Yet somehow the offense has managed to start the second half fast, and it’s contributed to two of their victories in what’s been a rough 2019 season.
When asked about these strong starts, the Bears immediately return to something that’s been a problem all season long – their starts to games. Only once this season – Week 4 against the Vikings – have the Bears scored on their opening drive of the game. Only one other time have they even attempted a field goal, as Eddy Pineiro missed a 48-yard try to start off the Rams game.
“I can’t pinpoint exactly what it is but whatever it is we need to try to start the game like that,” said Robinson when asked why the team does so well on the first drive of the second half. “We’ll put ourselves in some better positions and have some better outcomes.”
If they have any hope of keeping their playoff hopes alive, that wouldn’t be a bad idea. They’ve only scored 24 points in the first quarter, and it’s left them in deficits they’ve not been able to overcome most of the time, even if they’ve got 84 points in the third quarter.
“You’d like to have that coming out of the tunnel in the first quarter, so we’ve got to figure out a way to do that,” said Trubisky. “We’ve got to get better as an offense. We have too much talent and we’re wasting, because we’re hurting ourselves, so we’ve just got to be better and if everybody does their job I think we’ll be fine and I think that’s what you see in the third quarter coming out.”
Certainly, they have, and it’s been a bright spot in an otherwise difficult season for the offense.