While the starting quarterback position gets all the attention, the Chicago Bears have depth issues at other positions that have to be settled.
Well, now that our collective blood pressure is back to normal after another Chicago Bears heart-pounding win, there is a lot to digest about this roster. There are some changes that happened and some that should happen.
Head coach Matt Nagy announced the biggest change — benching starter Mitchell Trubisky in favor of backup Nick Foles. The coach replaced Trubisky after his third-quarter interception resulted in an Atlanta Falcons field goal, making the score 26-10. Of course, in true Foles fashion, he came off the bench and threw for three touchdowns, helping the Bears win their third straight game in 2020 (and four straight dating back to the end of last season).
While Nagy wouldn’t initially say anything about the starting quarterback going on, he announced in his press conference on Mondy that Foles would be the starting quarterback. He said he had a gut feeling about pulling Trubisky after the third-quarter interception.
We’re struggling on third down. We have 10 points. And then you get to the third quarter and we’re struggling a little bit and it’s an interception and there’s just, you’re down 16, it ends up being a gut feel, you know what I mean? It’s what we felt at that time, what I felt. We went with it.
Now let’s see how Foles handles this offense going forward.
Quarterback isn’t the only concern for the Bears
The starting quarterback isn’t the only concern for the Bears now. They lost running back Tarik Cohen for the season. On a punt in the fourth quarter, he got hit on his right leg and tore his ACL.
Cohen had a tough season in 2019 but he was starting to get more involved in the offense this season. In a backup role, he averaged 5.3 yards per rush. The injury was tough as it would be interesting to see how Cohen could be a bigger asset in the passing game with Foles throwing to him.
Now it looks like it’s up to Artavis Pierce to pick up the slack. They won’t go the free-agent route to replace Cohen for now.
— Patrick Finley (@patrickfinley) September 28, 2020
Pierce is a player who does well in a backup role. He was a backup in all four seasons at Oregon State and amassed 2,127 rushing yards (including 873 yards his final year) and 578 receiving yards.
It’s important that Pierce be effective. The better he plays the more he helps keep starter David Montgomery fresh throughout the season. The Bears already had a scare with Montgomery when he took a dive and landed awkwardly on his neck. Hopefully, Pierce does a good job as his backup.
Opposing running backs are gashing the Bears defense
For the third straight game, the Bears defense allowed big plays to the opposing running back. In Week 1, they gave up 93 yards and an average of 6.6 yards per rush. Saquon Barkley was on his way to a monster game in Week 2, gaining 28 yards on four carries before he tore his ACL on his first carry in the second quarter. Additionally, in Week 3, Todd Gurley had 80 yards on 14 carries and a touchdown.
The Bears hoped that Bilal Nichols could step in for Eddie Goldman, who opted out of the season due to COVID-19 concerns. That hasn’t happened, though. All three starting running backs against the Bears had their best game of 2020. In addition, the Bears run defense ranks 20th in touchdowns allowed (4) and 26th in average yards per rush (5.0). Something needs to be done.
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Perhaps the Bears are giving Nichols time to adjust to a new position, but at what cost? Damon Harrison, aka Snacks, is available. Furthermore, he wants to play. He started visiting teams and has an interest in joining the Bears. Even Bears players want Harrison to come to Chicago.
— cordarrelle patterson (@ceeflashpee84) September 25, 2020
We gonna set one up after my first visit!
— Damon Harrison Sr. (@snacks) September 25, 2020
While many criticize the Bears defense for their play in 2020, the pass defense is doing well. They have the fewest touchdown passes allowed in the league, rank 6th in average yards per reception, and rank 7th in interceptions. The concern, on the other hand, should be for their run defense. If they get that fixed, then this defense will be scary.
Yes, the starting quarterback position is important, but the Chicago Bears also have other concerns to deal with if they want to continue the 2020 magic.