Ross Jacobs has been an FFM correspondent on NFL games and NFL Draft matters for the past few years. He is going to be writing up some of his notes on various games he’s watching/studying this year. Typically, he will have written/submitted his work before mine, so this is a look at the same game with different eyes...and you can compare and contrast or find some new takeaways.
2020 Week 3 Analysis: Bears @ Falcons (By Ross Jacobs)
-I've never been so angry listening to media commentary about a game as I am about this one. The narrative coming out of this game is that Trubisky got benched for poor play, and Nick Foles came in to save the day for the Bears. Now I love Foles as much as anyone. I've believed in him and rooted for him for years as the media tore him apart for crimes I still cannot understand. But that is not what happened here.
-Mitch Trubisky was playing just fine before getting benched. No, he wasn't lighting the world on fire. He still looks too timid at times which I lay completely at Matt Nagy's feet. Nagy is the one that babied Mitch and held him back. He's never once done anything to show confidence in Trubisky. This offense is too simple and has been reigned in and micro-managed by Nagy since he got to town. He thinks he's a creative genius in the mold of his mentor Andy Reid. That's what the media has told him all along. Matt Nagy couldn't be the problem no. It's got to be Trubisky. I'm sure it was Trubisky that allowed the Falcons to score 26 points. It must have been Trubisky that threw a dumb INT, not Jimmy Graham blindly running across the field instead of looking at the coverage and sitting down. It must have been Trubisky that couldn't complete a pass or run for yards. Oh wait Trubisky completed 60% of his passes and ran for 45 yards on 1 carry.
David Montgomery averaged 3 yards per carry for the game and that's after ripping off several 10 yard runs at the end of the game while Chicago was running out the clock, but nobody says a word about him contributing to this sorry offense. Nobody but Allen Robinson can get open or catch a ball, but let's not blame them. Foles comes in and completes passes at about the same rate as Trubisky for a similar yards per attempt, but he gets the benefit of a ton of penalties on Atlanta to keep the drives going, has a pass go right through Isaiah Oliver's hands to Jimmy Graham, the Atlanta defense suddenly can't tackle Allen Robinson who breaks away for a catch and run TD, and suddenly Matt Ryan can't complete a pass and completely overthrows a receiver for an easy Chicago interception. But yeah, let's blame this completely on Trubisky and give Foles all the credit for “sparking the offense” and saving the game. Give me a break. Foles looked just as scattershot or worse than Mitch. He was literally throwing up prayers that Allen Robinson and the Atlanta defense bailed him out of. There are a lot of problems here, and I'm not saying Mitch is the answer, but he's far from being the only problem. My point is Nick Foles is not suddenly going to fix this offense. The issues go much deeper than that.
-The Bears should be 1-2 with their only win being scraping by a sorry Giants team. This team is going to crash and burn very soon. The schedule is about to take a hard turn for several weeks, and either way they are one of the worst 3-0 teams I've ever seen.
-The defense isn't very good either. They got torched for most of the game until the Falcons suddenly faltered for no reason. Eddie Jackson noticeably got beat multiple times this game and had some very bad effort plays too. The Bears looked like they didn't even want to tackle Brian Hill on his long TD run.
-The Falcons played in this game too. Not sure what to say about them at this point. They are making it impossible to tell how good or bad they are, because they keep getting leads and blowing them. I can't figure out what the issue is. They just seem to tighten up and suddenly can't do anything right. I'm guessing it's a coaching issue, but it might just be a fluke. Hard to say.
-Calvin Ridley looked like a star receiver in the first half only to completely disappear in the second. Gurley looks disinterested, and Hill is running with more energy and fire. I'd play him over Gurley every day if I were the Atlanta coach.
-As best I can tell the Falcons are actually not a good team. That sounds stupid considering they are 0-3, but a lot of people think they are better than they actually are because they've blown leads. The logic is that they must actually be pretty good, and they just need to stop cratering at the end. Personally I think they were incredibly lucky to be in the Cowboy game. They were gifted 20 points and couldn't win even then. They got stomped by Seattle, and couldn't hold off a bad Bears team. I think they are a 5 or 6 win team masquerading as a 9 win team that's getting unlucky.
-Like I said, Ridley will be fine until the second half of the season. Trade him when the time comes.
-Get out on Gurley while you can. Hill's usage is ticking up, and he looks like the better back anyways. This team isn't going to have many leads where they can run out the clock either.
-Many people are thinking that Allen Robinson is suddenly a WR1 because Foles is now the QB, and there's probably a little truth to that because Foles was forcing everything to him. I'd be somewhat cautious though as many of Robinson's completions this game came from Trubisky before he was benched, and his lone TD was a fluky catch and run because Atlanta decided not to tackle him. Robinson is an amazing WR no doubt, but I'm not certain all his problems are suddenly going to be fixed by Foles.