By Wanda Wiedman // @WandaW63
Week one of the regular season is over. It’s time to move on to week 2.
Especially those Bears fans who have spent every single day dissecting every decision, throw and play call made or didn’t make against Green Bay. The Chicago Bears have chosen to learn from it and move on to Week 2…and so should we.
And despite several blowout games throughout the NFL, Bears fans will not let the loss to the Packers die. So now it’s on to Denver and a matchup with former Bears defensive coordinator Vic Fangio as head coach.
Fangio knows quarterback Mitchell Trubisky’s weak areas (apparently everyone does) but also recognizes his strengths. Fangio is still going to use the Broncos defense to pressure Trubisky upfront and force him to throw long. But after watching the Broncos defense against the Oakland Raiders on Monday Night Football, that may not be a bad thing.
For the Bears, they have their work cut out for them and with some adjustments, they can claim a victory on the road. The Bears need to go into Denver with the following mindset:
First: An entire offensive line that clicks on all cylinders. Whether it’s head coach Matt Nagy calling the plays or Trubisky changing them at the line of scrimmage, the line has to give Trubisky the chance to make a play. Blocking has to be better and penalties have to be at a minimum. To have two big plays disappear because of holding calls is inexcusable.
Second: Establish a consistent run game and spread the ball. The Oakland Raiders exposed a hole in Fangio’s defense as the Broncos allowed rookie running back Josh Jacobs to run for 85 yards and two touchdowns, while also giving up 105 receiving yards to wide receiver Tyrell Williams and 70 yards to tight end, Darren Waller. It all hinges on Nagy’s play calling by inserting different looks, play actions plays and a punch in the mouth run game.
Third: Trubisky has to play better, like over the top better. Bears fans were brutal in dissecting every throw and ball placement. We are talking spreadsheets and analysis that will blow your mind. Trubisky will have to play smart and with conviction. He must not abandon his check-downs during his progressions and scan the field like a boss.
Fourth: The defense has to out-do the Broncos defense. Broncos linebacker Von Miller and defensive end Bradley Chubb had zero sacks and barely any pressure on the Raiders offense. But QB Joe Flacco showed some of the same flashes of inconsistencies when pressured. The Bears front seven can really make it hard for Flacco to get out of the pocket. Watch for LBs Khalil Mack, Leonard Floyd, and DE Akeim Hicks to have a sack apiece.
And lastly, the Bears special teams must also make a statement. Punter Pat O’Donnell has improved in getting the ball within the 15 and 20-yard line, which puts Flacco in a dangerous position. Kicker Eddy Pineiro was the only one to score any points last week. Let’s see if he completes all his kicks and comes in as the clutch kicker the Bears have been looking for.
The Bears will have to outsmart Fangio, who is very familiar with the way the Bears prepare and the strength of the defense. This won’t be an easy game, but if they ALL do their jobs in all phases, it should be a fun game to watch.
Talk Bears with Wanda on Twitter // @WandaW63