Last season, it was very apparent that the Chicago Bears struggled to find the right balance between their weekly desire to win football games with the long-term prioritization and development of rookie quarterback Mitch Trubisky, who was (and still is) the franchise’s most prized asset.
Few things exemplify that struggle like the schemes, game plans, and plays Trubisky was asked to execute on a game-by-game basis. While it’s a good thing that Trubisky was able to get his feet wet, learn the ropes, and find a grasp for the absolute basics of running an NFL offense, the Bears’ decision-making on game day did him very few favors.
Recently, Josh Hermsmeyer highlighted the offensive run-pass splits and success rates on non-red zone plays on 1st-and-10 or 2nd-and-long with 7+ players in the box while trailing in all quarters in 2017 (which were the types of situations the Bears often found themselves in last season) and his data shows that the Bears not only failed to respond well in those situations, but also that they didn’t even put themselves in a position to get out of early-down holes.
Hermsmeyer’s chart shares everything you need to know about why the Loggains-Fox duo was bad for Trubisky’s development:
We’re looking at a set of numbers that suggests the Bears’ decision-makers were running with flawed logic … literally.
Not only did the Bears call the most running plays in these situations, they were the least successful team when doing so. And they kept doing it over and over again despite the constant failure of these play-calling decisions.
What makes it more difficult to stomach is that there was another course of action the Bears could have taken, one that was proven to be more successful. Chicago had the lowest percentage of drop-backs in these situations and were twice as successful throwing the ball than they were running it.
In short: The Bears were twice as successful passing the ball than they were running it, but decided to run the ball on two thirds of their plays. Awesome. /s
It was as if the Bears took the field with a specific game plan of unsuccessful plays and decided that deviating from the plan was a bad idea – despite clear and concise evidence declaring it was time to move on.
That type of poor decision-making made it necessary for the Bears to move on from Fox and Loggains this offseason. Chicago’s offense needed to take a step toward modernizing, and Matt Nagy should bring that to the table. Hopefully, he and his offensive staff can de-program any damage the prior staff did to Trubisky’s development due to these awful play-calling decisions.