Run, Run, and Run Some More: A Retrospective of the Chicago Bears 2022 Offense

The Chicago Bears have gotten off to a horrendous 2-4 start after six games, digging into the hope that was one held by Bears fans for change. After 3\4 years of Matt Nagy, Bears fans were hoping for a new, fresh, revitalized offense under new head coach Matt Eberflus, and offensive coordinator Luke Getsy. These hopes have been shattered.

THis year the Bears are running a slightly altered scheme compared to last year, one which utilizes moving parts and a mobile quarterback much more, but the result has essentially been the same. The Bears rank bottom 5 in each major offensive statistic, with the only exception being rushing, one which the Bears are top 7 in. The hope going into this year was an offense that routinely relied on its up and coming quarterback Justin Fields, but this has not been the case whatsoever. Starting the year with 54% completion percentage and 144 passing yards a game, he has been simply disappointing. After completing single digit completions in the first 3 games, fans thought Justin would finally be given some leeway, this was not the case. His number just improved to around 13 completions per game, which in a league that heavily favors passing, is absolutely nothing. For reference, Josh Allen, the league leader in passing yards, is completing approximately 27 throws per games, almost double that of Justin Fields, and even though he is one of the premier quarterbacks in the league, it is still telling of the faith that the Bears coaching staff have in Justin: so much so that they will revert back to offense not seen since the 1970’s.

The run game has been a completely different story. The Bears are near the top in every major rushing category, with sophomore Khalil Herbert and Veteran David Montgomery leading the charge. Specifically, Khalil Herbert has been a breakout player for the Bears, being 7th in the league with 403 rushing yards, and top 3 in rushing efficiency with 6.4 yards per carry, He has been a star. The former Sixth round draft pick out of Virginia Tech, Herbert has been defying expectations, and taking touches away from an established above average player in David Montgomery. He has been the absolute star of this offense, the only one, as the run game as a whole has put this offense on its back.

This debacle would be a completely different debate if Justin Fields was sowing out in the few touches that he got, but this has not been the case. Justin has not progressed far in his ability to read the field, limiting his usage in the games. This problem could be attributed to a lack of game time, but after almost a year in total starts, this is a problem that should be starting to fade away. He routinely is not able to snap off his first read, which either leads to him forcing a throw into a window that does not exist, or holding on and having to run for his life from the pass rush. It has gotten so bad to the point that he does not even trust his ability to make the correct read, there have been times where he sees the play work perfectly, but he does not internally think that we can zip the ball into the window from 20-30 yards away. His confidence is shot. The only real solution would be to change the identity of the offense, one which does not protect him, but instead lets him air it out, for better or worse, just to see if he can lead a team when required to.

No matter how you look at it, this Bears offense has been a disaster, unrecognizable from early season predictions of how it would run. The only hope that the fans can cling to is that it is only week seven, and there are still 11 games to be played, giving the Bears time to learn, adapt, readjust, and come back better than ever.
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