After years as an analyst, it took Troy Aikman just three hours of watching the Chicago Bears offense to become a blithering, babbling idiot. Three hours of watching coach Matt Nagy’s play calls. Three hours of watching quarterback Nick Foles do whatever it is you’d describe him as doing.
“It’s too lackadaisical,’’ Aikman, the former Dallas Cowboys quarterback, said during the Bears 26-23 overtime loss to New Orleans Sunday. “Even watching this when you’re in a hurry-up situation . . . I don’t know . . . a little frustrating watching it.’’
A little? He kept saying the Bears need to run, and I’m not talking about running the football. I’m talking about not walking around or standing there. Run! He also said he’d consider benching Foles and at the same time said, “You can never count out Nick Foles no matter what.’’ See what I mean?
And Aikman wasn’t the only idiot out there. Bears receiver Allen Robinson walked away from the offense on the sideline talking to and ranting . . . to himself. And receiver Javon Wims just started punching New Orleans’ Chauncey Gardner-Johnson in the head.
The Bears offense has done that to people for years. Players, announcers, fans. But now it’s clear that the Bears are going to have to break this thing apart and start all over with yet another rebuild. Another great Bears defense goes to waste. This isn’t even an NFL level offense.
“I think it’s just rhythm, tempo, all the little things in football that we’re figuring out,’’ Foles said. “There are a lot of new pieces here, whether it be coaches or players, that we’re working the bond together and figuring this out as a unit.’’
LOL. Yeah, sure. The Bears offense is always a work in progress, like the work on Chicago’s tollways: They always seem to be working on it but never getting it done.
No, this is now hopeless. Let’s just face facts. For this game, I put most of the blame on Nagy, who was almost stalling or something at the end of regulation. He did not call plays to try to win, but rather to set up a miracle 51-yard field goal attempt into the wind and send the game to overtime.
What did I want, a miracle? Well, yes. Hey, Nagy is the offensive genius. That’s why he was brought here. But it’s so clear that Foles is the wrong quarterback and that the Bears need to go back to Mitch Trubisky, whom Nagy benched a month ago. It wasn’t the wrong move to bench Trubisky at the time. He was awful, and you had to see what Foles, who is an odd mix of Super Bowl champion and journeyman, could do.
What’s more important is what Foles can’t do: run. The Bears have no running game. Aikman kept pointing out how great running back David Montgomery’s 2-yard runs were, considering how there was no blocking in front of him. Trubisky can run, meaning defenses would be kept honest if he were on the field.
Instead, there’s Foles, who has been the quarterback for a month now, still reading plays off his wristband and getting a delay of game penalty in the third quarter when he wasn’t even within five seconds of getting the snap off. And there he is throwing an interception that no one on the offense ever had a chance to catch, or throwing deep over an open receiver’s wrong shoulder, or throwing to unsuspecting defensive players who dropped easy interceptions because they weren’t used to quarterbacks just throwing the ball right to them.
Every once in a while, Foles makes a play. He did throw a 50-yard pass in the first half and then threw a nice touchdown pass to Robinson. That, and Montgomery’s one long run of the season all served as a mirage, making Chicago think the Bears might actually be figuring this whole offense thing out.
They aren’t. And sure, I can pin this one on Nagy, who can’t bring himself to stand on the sideline as a leader while his team falls to pieces, rather than as a coordinator calling all the wrong plays in no particular order.
But he doesn’t have a quarterback to work with. The quarterback has only one receiver, Robinson, to throw to, and no legit running back to hand the ball to. The running backs don’t have a line blocking for them.
General manager Ryan Pace has been here six years, brought in for the purpose of modernizing and fixing the offense. Six years, and Robinson is still the only good player on offense.
That’s right. Pace was here to bring the Bears offense out of the 1950s. That’s the actual reason he hired Nagy. It’s the reason he traded up in the draft to get Trubisky with the second pick. It was all part of the plan to build an offense.
At this point, pretty much everyone needs to go. Pace, Nagy, Foles, Trubisky. They’ve all had success in their careers. They’ve been Super Bowl champs, geniuses, hot prospects. And then they came together in Chicago as . . . blithering idiots.