2019 Dynasty/Fantasy Football Analysis: Week 8 – Chargers 17, Bears 16
I haven’t seen this many red zone fails since watching the Arizona Cardinals all season…the Bears red zone work makes the Cardinals seem efficient.
The problems are multifold, but to me they are mostly all on Matt Nagy. Again, you want to join the mainstream mocking of Trubisky for all this…I won’t stop you or try to talk you out of it. I agree there is a Trubisky issue, but it’s not the way the mainstream thinks.
The single biggest problem with the Bears offense…the first issue I’d address is the personnel usage and play calling.
1) I see the Bears in the red zone using 2-3 tight end formations on passing plays – what do you think slow ass Adam Shaheen and Ben Braunecker are going to do running to a spot and turning around to a stop? They are never open. The field is so short the safeties and linebackers are easily hanging with them.
Multiple slow-ass TEs are in, while their single best end zone weapon, tall, great vertical, big reach, excellent high point guy WR Javon Wims isn’t even in the game. Why is 5-foot nothing Taylor Gabriel in with two slow-ass tight ends in the red zone/goal line area, for an offense with all kinds of issues?
2) The whole problem is exacerbated by the main reason Nagy should be fired, or minimum have play calling taken away from him – his undying love of terrible David Montgomery is destroying the offense, the team, and Montgomery’s career.
Almost every series starts with a 1st-down run for -3 to +3 yards by Montgomery. The Bears are almost never in 2nd or 3rd down and advantageous to go. And Montgomery gets stuffed near the goal line routinely. It takes away real chances to score, puts more pressure on everyone else (with a ton already on them). The opposing defense knows Montgomery is getting the ball in some way when he’s in the game. I’ll bet Christian McCaffrey is like, “Man, the Bears give their running back the ball way too much.” 59 snaps this game…27 carries and 5 targets. 18 of 28 1st-down plays for the Bears in the first 55 minutes (before panic set in and a hurry up offense) were Montgomery touches. It’s comical…it’s predictable.
I watched several red zone and key plays in the game in slow motion on all-22 view to see what Trubisky is seeing…I saw 1-2 bad plays/missed plays and a whole lot of ‘no one is open and now what do I do?’ events. Trubisky is still coming off a broken collarbone so he’s not having an inclination to run the ball – which I think he needs to just do it and save his season. Trubisky doesn’t have many options to work with in this ‘genius’ Nagy system.
Late in the game, 6:00 left, the 2nd to last drive tells you everything you need to know…
Trubisky converts two 1st-downs passing (one a P.I. that was obvious), as a long drive is embarked upon. With 4+ minutes left, at the LAC 40…1st-down run to Montgomery for 3 yards. 2nd-down run to Montgomery for -3 yards. You put Trubisky in 3rd & 10, and surprise…the Chargers come after him on an obvious passing down and sack him out of FG range. He should’ve never been in 3rd and 10. He was moving the team otherwise…why go back to a Montgomery run that hasn’t worked for nice yards but 2-3 times this entire season? That’s a Nagy issue…he wants Montgomery. He’s not hiding Trubisky, per se…he’s pushing his faith in Montgomery…who might be the worst starting RB runner of the ball in the NFL.
The Bears are then forced to punt, but then get the ball back with 1:33 left…once again, Trubisky takes them down the field with two critical passes for 22 yards and 9 yards. 2nd & 1 with 0:58 left…Montgomery run for 2 yards…why? Trubisky then makes a great run to get in real FG position with 0:40 left. Nagy cashes out and takes a knee to setup a field goal instead of trying to get a few more yards…and then they miss the FG attempt. Chargers win.
I’m not sure what else Trubisky could do in the circumstance – you’re supposed to throw your team down to FG range with time elapsing. He can’t help it that too many run plays are called between all that, that go nowhere.
Nagy is aggravating to me mostly because he is letting Trubisky take the fall…because that’s where the media is going, and that saves Nagy for two+ more years of big paychecks before he’s fired and back to being a terrible O-C again. If Nagy had a shred of leadership or decency, he’d be going ballistic to defend his QB…but he’s not, not really. He’s giving tepid answers of not thinking about replacing Trubisky now. He should pull a Jim Mora, Mike Gundy, or Dennis Green ‘lose it’ moment to rally the entire team and give his QB confidence (even if faux confidence). But political dirtbag coaches worried about themselves…easy to let the QB take the fall. I’m totally disgusted with Nagy. Bruce Arians is defending Jameis Winston like he’s his own son…when he should cut and run. Trubisky accomplished more last year than Winston has in any year he’s had in the NFL…and we’re already burying Trubisky’s career. His coach’s lukewarm defense of the media killing Trubisky is burying the QB. It’s not right. Same treatment Nick Foles got – the NFL analyst community is disgusting.
The Bears fall to 3-4…three losses in a row. Beat Philly this week and everything changes. I think there is a void in leadership here and the ship is going to sink under the weight of Nagy’s political con job leadership…and the Bears will fall short of the playoffs and finish with 7-8 wins. There is still time to save the season, but I don’t think Nagy has it in him at all.
The Chargers get a lucky Karma win…they get the win they should’ve had last week vs. Tennessee. LAC is 3-5, and is a terrible, terrible football team. This is a 5-6 win team, tops.
Fantasy Player Notes…
-- I already typed my weekly ‘defend Mitch’ segment (above), but I’m not totally defending Mitchell Trubisky (22-35 for 253 yards, 0 TD/1 INT) for fantasy…I’m just pointing out the hypocrisy of how such things are reported. If Trubisky deserves non-stop condemnation…why not Winston or 5-10 other QBs? And I harp on it because these are the people swaying us in articles and reporting and scouting…the most shortsighted and unstudied of their jobs are in the position of ‘critic’. It’s totally legit for us to have counterthoughts to their herd of sheep week-to-week thinking. The worst people judging current football are people who used to play it and/or coach it.
That aside…I will reiterate that I’m done with Mitch for fantasy/dynasty, for the most part. It breaks my heart because of what potential (to me) is getting thrown in the trash…but I’ve seen this all too often, and we are getting worse not better as a football society on such things – Trubisky is the fall guy, whether he deserves it or not. The media has made up their minds, and thus the fans have made up their minds, and thus team will play off of that to placate them all. It’s the same thing that happened to Nick Foles in his career.
Foles was so promising, proven performer early and then mocked for a dip in numbers (while still winning 70%+ of his starts) and then when he failed with Jeff Fisher, in all of 6-7 games he was given a chance in – Fisher, the ultimate representation of following consensus and seeking media acceptance, benched him and then cut him…after just half a season and after paying him decent money to come to L.A./St. Louis. Foles was laughed out of the NFL, in a sense, and then injury forced him into a spot where he could win a Super Bowl MVP by putting the team on his back and thwarting the genius Bill Belichick – I MEAN, IT WAS ALL THOSE DARN PESKY RPO’S FAULT!!!
Mitch doesn’t have the mental strength of Foles, so I think he’ll accept his fate and go away to be a backup somewhere and be forgotten. But for fantasy, for 2019 and beyond, it’s not anything I want to fight city hall on. THEY are wrong but THEY are going to win. Mitch’s head will be on a silver platter soon enough. It’s either Mitch or Nagy has to go…and I know who will win that.
-- Meanwhile, Trubisky’s completes 65%+of his passes, wins 65% of this starts the past two seasons, throws for 230-250 yards in most of his games this year and has 5 TD passes his last three games of full play (was hurt early and gone in Week 4). He puts up enough numbers and has the talent to push Allen Robinson (5-62-0/7) as a WR1.5-2.0 with WR1 upside if they stop running every play with Montgomery.
-- David Montgomery (27-135-1, 4-12-0/5) is now a hero because he had 100+ yards in a game – the one sure sign an RB is great for the masses…did they just run for 100+ yards in a game? If ‘yes’, then hall of famer and desired for fantasy. If ‘no’, must trade, my RBs are killing me.
I’d trade Montgomery in two seconds off this game if you have him…and if you do, I’m not sure we’re friends.
135 yards rushing here, had a 55-yard run through a wide-open hole…and of course caught from behind…and had 26 carries for 85 yards for 3.3 yards per carry on all his other totes, which is about his norm.
Why is the media not pointing out this wrongheaded scouting? They can’t – they ALL were 1,000% in on Montgomery so it can’t be his fault, thus it can’t be Nagy’s fault for calling his number too much. That’s how it works folks. Sorry, if you thought they were all objective and cared about getting the story/analysis right.
-- Oh, and was I not right about Melvin Gordon (8-31-1, 2-3-0/3) all along? Can I have that win too? If you want me to be wrong on Trubisky…can I have Montgomery and Gordon credit?
Any decent-ish RB can rush for 1,000+ yards if you jam them every carry – but it’s also going to hurt your team, your offense, your QB if you’re constantly giving touches to a non-playmaker. I’m sure Montgomery will rush for 1,000+ yards in a season ahead, as long as Nagy is head coach…but it won’t be validation of anything on talent just volume doing it’s thing.
I’m thinking Austin Ekeler (3-3-0, 2-19-1/3) is going to out-do Gordon for FF the ROS on lesser touches, PPR, because the Chargers need him in the passing game…and Rivers loves the short passing game, which is smart with his banged up O-Line.
-- Chargers’ Safety Roderic Teamer (9 tackles, 1 PD) was not intended to be a starter…but has started and played 100% of the snaps since Week 3…and is averaging 6.7 tackles, 0.33 PDs per game with an INT). he’s nothing special that I’ve caught so far…but his numbers have been very steady.
-- All the numbers are still solid for the Bears-DST…but it’s not 2018 anymore, but they are not bad at all. The numbers/metrics for defense I have say they are a top 5-6 defense overall. For FF they are the #9 scoring fantasy DST YTD…and close to falling out of the top 12 than cracking the top 3 – but they are doing fine. They may catch a wave ahead, starting with Philly this week.
The schedule is not their friend the rest of this year. Week 11 to Week 16: LAR-NYG-DET-DAL-GB-KC…a lot of stable, solid and/or great QBs and offenses in there was one obvious play (NYG). I think they’re a DST1 for sure, a top 5 threat…but the schedule may keep them as just a top 10 DST.
Snap Counts of Interest:
59 = Montgomery
16 = Cohen (unconscionable, and I didn’t even rant-type about this aspect)
11 = MK Davis
43 = MK Williams
37 = Patton
31 = Keenan Allen
25 = Gordon
24 = Ekeler