The Chicago Bears made a move at quarterback. It was an overdue move and now the offense is the better for it.
The Chicago Bears are one of the few undefeated teams left in the NFL. Not even the biggest fan could think that was the case. Additionally, considering how they had to come back from double-digit fourth-quarter deficits in two of the games, there are a lot of shocked people around the league. Considering that many football analysts had them winning three games all season, it’s incredible they sit at three already.
Despite the successful start to the season, it’s obvious that the Bears still have difficulties, the biggest one being at quarterback. Mitchell Trubisky hasn’t had a complete game yet. He stumbled through three quarters before he had an incredible fourth quarter in Week 1. In Week 2, he had a terrific first half but struggled through the second half.
In Week 3, going up against the worst defense in the league, Trubisky struggled through the first half. Then, starting the third quarter, his struggles continued as he threw a bad interception. Head coach Matt Nagy had enough. Out went Trubisky and in came Nick Foles.
That move will turn out to be the best one made all season.
Foles is tailor-made for this offense. He used the offense to lead the 2017 Philadelphia Eagles all the way to a Super Bowl victory, and he won the Super Bowl MVP in the process. He came off the bench when starter Carson Wentz hurt his knee and couldn’t finish the season.
In 2018, Foles almost did it again. He came off the bench after another Wentz injury and led a listless Eagles back into the playoffs. Ironically, he faced the Bears in the first round and beat them.
Now it’s time for Foles to weave his magic in Chicago
Look at Foles’ performance as a sneak peek of what’s to come from now on. No, he won’t have three touchdowns in every fourth quarter, but the offense will be completely different with him running it.
When Foles hits the field there is excitement. It happened when he played in Philadelphia. The receivers have to be more aware that a pass could come their way, even if they aren’t the main target. With Trubisky, he’d lock in on a receiver and not see anyone else on the field.
Another great aspect about Foles is his fearlessness. He’ll go through his progressions and stay in that pocket until the absolute last moment and still get the pass off. That happened a few times in last week’s game, including on the game-winning touchdown. Unfortunately, it’s a big reason he’s suffered some injuries in his career.
This offensive setup is perfect for Foles
In addition to knowing the system well, Foles has experience with this coaching staff. In his two stints with Philadelphia (2012-2014, 2017-2018), he worked with current Bears’ offensive coordinator Bill Lazor, quarterbacks coach John De Filippo, and Nagy. He also worked with Nagy when both were with the Kansas City Chiefs in 2016. Heck, he even knows offensive line coach Juan Castillo from their days in Philadelphia as well. He’s at home with this team.
Everything was set up for Foles to be in the position he’s in now. You may wonder if that was the case, why did Trubisky win the job? Well, Trubisky has trouble when he’s in games. When the pass rush actually goes after him, he panics and makes bad decisions. He forgets everything that he does when he’s in practice.
Without any preseason games, we just had to go on the team’s word that he was a different quarterback. He had to completely fail in camp for him not to keep his job. He didn’t so he kept the job. Once he got in games, however, we all saw that he was the same Trubisky, the quarterback who struggles with decision-making and accuracy.
Now Foles takes over an offense in which he succeeded to run, with coaches he worked with in the past. Add in a tight end in Jimmy Graham who is playing well, and Nagy has the opportunity to open up the playbook. With Trubisky’s limitations, it’s a certainty that there are a bunch of plays that Nagy hasn’t even looked at to run. Here are some examples.
Foles has good accuracy on the deep throw
There will be a big change in this area. This season, Trubisky completed just two passes of the 15 he threw that went over 20 yards. Those two passes went for 49 yards. His longest completion was for 28 yards.
Foles, on the other hand, completed three of his nine attempts of the same throws for 86 yards. Those passes totaled 86 yards (he had another deep ball that was reversed).
He throws a unique deep ball. A lot of guys that throw the deep ball today throw the ball a little flatter. Nick throws the ball with a lot of arc… One advantage to that is it gives the receiver time to adjust. He’s just assuming they’re going to make more plays than not.
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Foles’ specialty is putting the ball where the receiver can make a play. He did that on the touchdown pass to Allen Robinson. He got the ball to Robinson where he could make the catch and make a play afterward. Foles gets the ball to the receiver on the deep ball, in RPOs (Run-Pass Option) where he reads the defense quickly and makes the right decision.
Also, he throws the back-shoulder pass well. Wide receivers coach Mike Furrey made a controversial comment that was very critical of Trubisky. When asked about a back-shoulder pass to Javon Wims, this is what he said:
The back shoulder throw – obviously we haven’t had a lot of those the last two or three years. And so that’s going to happen now.
Furrey criticized Trubisky without naming him. Controversial or not, it was the truth and now we’ll see how much more involved and happy players and coaches will be going forward.
It’ll be fun to see this offense going at full strength. If Foles plays well, this will be a fun season to watch.