The Chicago Bears hope last week’s literal last-second win sparks a winning streak when they face the Washington Redskins in prime time on Monday Night Football.
The Bears squeaked out their first win of the season last Sunday against the Denver Broncos after kicker Eddy Pineiro’s booming 53-yard field goal as time expired. The Bears outlasted the Broncos 16-14, beating their former defensive coordinator Vic Fangio, now the Broncos head coach, in the process.
Head coach Matt Nagy was all smiles addressing the media Thursday when talking about the attention Pineiro is now getting. “I'm excited that he’s getting this because it’s good attention, it’s not the other type of attention,” he said.
Despite escaping Denver with a win off the foot of Pineiro, the Bears offense continued to struggle. Quarterback Mitchell Trubisky threw for only 120 yards and the offense scored just one touchdown, a 1-yard run by rookie running back David Montgomery.
“I know that what we’ve done the last two weeks unfortunately is not us, we can’t keep doing that. But I like that we’re going through some adversity right now,” Nagy said Thursday about his squad. “When you can get mentally stronger and still win the game you figure things out, you stick together, you become a lot stronger in the end.” (Watch Nagy’s full comments.)
Trubisky is one of only two NFL quarterbacks who have played 100% of their team’s offensive snaps this season and have not thrown a touchdown (Carolina Panthers’ quarterback Cam Newton is the other).
Trubisky hasn’t lost his confidence though. “You just got to believe this week is gonna be the week. We haven’t been executing the way we want to … We’re sticking together and we’re gonna do what we gotta do to correct it and we gotta believe that this offense can explode at any minute,” he said Thursday. (Watch his full comments.)
The Bears offense will look to improve against a struggling Redskins defense that gave up 474 net yards to the Dallas Cowboys last week and are allowing 31.5 points a game.
Former Bears offensive lineman and WTTW News football analyst James “Big Cat” Williams gives us three key takes on what the Bears need to do to beat the Redskins in week three.
Big Cat Take #1: Run Forrest Run
The Bears need to get the running game going. I realize in the first two weeks the running game hasn’t blown anyone away but it has been the one constant on the few scoring drives that the Bears have had.
Versus the Packers, they only scored a field goal. It was a short field for the offense that started at the Packers 36. Bears had four rushes and one pass before kicking a 38-yard field goal.
Versus the Broncos they had three scoring drives not including the drive to win the game and they went:
FG - 14 plays for 64 yards with 8 rushing attempts
FG - 10 plays for 56 yards with 5 rushing attempts
TD - 9 plays for 80 yards with 9 rushing attempts.
In Washington’s first two games they have given up close to 340 yards on the ground.
Big Cat Take #2: Play Ball
The Bears need to make some plays in the passing game. Everyone is involved in this one – not just Trubisky. Creative play calling from Nagy, the skilled players need to get separation from their defenders, blitzes need to be identified and blocked properly, throws need to be accurate and on time and catches need to be made.
Big Cat Take #3: Rinse and Repeat
Finally, on defense they are going to need to continue to do what they have been doing. Stopping the run and being solid on 3rd down. They only gave up 47 rushing yards to the Packers and 90 to the Broncos. On 3rd down the Packers only managed to convert 2 for 12 and the Broncos went 3 for 14. It’s going to take another solid performance to pull one out on Monday night.