Because of injuries and the COVID virus, the Chicago Bears used a number of different lineups for the offensive line. Their latest move seems to be a good one.
The Chicago Bears‘ offensive line takes a lot of gruff from fans for the poor play. The offense struggles to move the ball when the line struggles to open holes for the running backs and fails to protect the quarterback. Even when healthy the offensive linemen had trouble. Add in injuries and COVID and the line was in tatters.
So far this season, the Bears used Charles Leno Jr, James Daniels, Cody Whitehair, Germain Ifedi, Bobby Massie, Jason Spriggs, Alex Bars, Rashaad Coward, and Sam Mustipher to form six different combinations. Bars has played three different positions while Ifedi and Whitehair played two.
The combination used in Week 12 against the Green Bay Packers seems to be a good one. Despite the blowout loss, the line performed well. Yes, there were a couple of times where quarterback Mitchell Trubisky got overwhelmed, but that happens even to the best of lines on occasion. For the most part, however, Trubisky had a clean pocket. The Packers sacked him three times but one was when no receivers were open and he held onto the ball too long instead of throwing the ball away. There was another in which he ran out of bounds behind the line of scrimmage instead of throwing the ball away. Additionally, the line opened up holes for David Montgomery. He had his first 100+ rushing yards game of the season.
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Massie was the Bears’ highest-rated offensive lineman this season before he suffered a leg injury. He’s eligible to come back from the injured reserve list this week, though. The coaching staff might want to give him more practice time to get back to the swing of things. This gives the team another game to see what this line does. Ifedi has had his troubles at right tackle, though he did well there on Sunday. Hopefully, Massie can fit right in and Ifedi can kick back inside.
This is a temporary fix, not a long-term one
Let’s not go crazy here, this is not the future of the Chicago Bears offensive line. This unit still needs some work. Some of the faces on this line won’t be around next season. This new line is something that could help this team get through the final five games of the 2020 season. Once the offseason hits, the powers that be need to make the offensive line a priority. As important as the quarterback is, he won’t do anything if he’s constantly on his back.
For the time being, let’s hope this line helps the offense improve. If Nick Foles is named the starter again he could play better with this line. His immobility really hurt him with the breakdown of the offensive line. That was one of the reasons some felt that Trubisky could be a better choice. That might be true if not for Trubisky’s penchant for throwing into double and triple coverages.
Hopefully, this improved offensive line continues to help Montgomery’s play. If the Bears sustain a rushing attack, the defense rests and plays up to the standard we’re used to seeing. Maybe then head coach Matt Nagy could refrain from blasting that unit and concentrate more on the offense.