The Bears’ offense has had its highs and lows — sometimes from one play to the next — since coach Matt Nagy took over last season, and that volatility was on display against the Packers and Broncos.
Consistency has been elusive for Mitch Trubisky and Co.
“It’s a roller coaster,” wide receiver Allen Robinson said as the Bears got back to work Wednesday after their 16-14 victory in Denver. “At the end of the day, we need to get back on that roller coaster every week.
“There’s a lot of ups and downs throughout the whole game — especially the last minute or so. We made the plays when we needed to, which is what ultimately matters.”
Not exactly. That’s all that mattered against the Broncos, but it’s going to take far better production — the Bears are bottom three in yardage, points and passer rating — to string together a winning streak and earn a prime playoff position.
The goal is to be steadier, starting with their visit to the Redskins on Monday night. It’ll be a rough season if it keeps feeling like they’re on one of the wild rides at Great America.
“We’ve really been just even-keeled,” right guard Kyle Long said of the mood. “We want to let nothing affect us.”
While football players tend to rationalize that the only meaningful indicator is wins, the Bears seem to have a healthy grasp that the first two weeks haven’t gone well.
They’ve reached the red zone twice in 19 full possessions, hardly got anything going offensively in the opener and needed everything to line up perfectly in the last 31 seconds to beat the Broncos in their stunning game-winning drive Sunday.
Their 1-1 record is fine for now, but the performances have to improve.
Nonetheless, the offense remains upbeat.
Nothing is more helpful than the Bears’ world-class defense, which gives them more margin and more time to figure this out than most teams enjoy. But beyond that, the ground game has surprisingly turned into a potential avenue for the team to right itself.
Rookie David Montgomery has established himself as the best option in the backfield and had 62 yards and a touchdown on 18 carries against the Broncos.
“He can make things happen regardless of what happens,” Long said. “But it’d be better if we can do a little bit more and give him a little bit more daylight.”
Montgomery’s effort was part of a 153-yard rushing effort, the Bears’ fifth-highest under Nagy. Logic says they’ll keep pounding it Monday, given that the Redskins had a middle-of-the-pack run defense last season and rank 31st this year.
That would help Trubisky, too.
The best thing Trubisky has done so far is avoid turnovers, his only one an interception in the end zone against Green Bay. That’s significant, but Super Bowl-aspiring teams need more than that from their quarterback.
Trubisky’s numbers from the first two games are worse across the board than those from his rookie season. The most troubling statistic is his 58.3 completion percentage, which ranks 27th among the 33 quarterbacks with enough attempts to qualify.
Even so, when the Bears were on the brink of defeat in Denver, he stepped up in the pocket and zipped a 25-yard pass to Robinson that set up the game-winning field goal.
Throws like that keep inspiring hope that Trubisky can ignite the offense more regularly.
“It’s one play,” Robinson said. “Every week, I know he’s coming in here trying to get better. . . . It does give us confidence because we won the game, but you’ve got to look at it from the whole perspective.
“I don’t think one play is going to drastically change anybody’s anything. We’ve got to come in here and stay tuned in to the game plan and try to get better.”