What the Chicago Bears were missing from Tarik Cohen in 2020

Chicago Bears (Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports)
Chicago Bears (Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports) /
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Chicago Bears, Tarik Cohen
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Tarik Cohen and his effectiveness in the Chicago Bears pass game

It’s the versatility of Tarik Cohen that makes him a special player. He can line up all over the field and even be a factor in the punt return game. Specifically in the passing game though, Cohen can be a matchup nightmare for linebackers and nickel cornerbacks. And the Bears have exposed coverages or certain matchups to get Cohen the ball in space.

Going back to 2019, Tarik Cohen was heavily targeted in the passing game. He finished the season with 79 catches for 456 yards and three touchdowns. While it was a significant dropoff in yards from 2018, Cohen still showcased his ability to get open in the pass game. The Chicago Bears offense also significantly struggled in 2018, ranking in the bottom 10 in yards per game and 21st in points.

In the Bears’ 16-6 win vs Minnesota on September 29, 2019, Chase Daniel would replace the injured Trubisky and lead them to victory. Tarik Cohen would open up the scoring with this nasty flat route with a defender one on one in space.

It’s then up to Cohen to beat the defender to the pylon and that is the easy part for him. Reading Daniels’ eyes, Cohen was the primary read on this play. How could he not be with the matchup he was given? Teams have to be aware of where Cohen is on the field because of instances like this touchdown.

This is another great example of Cohen winning a one-on-one matchup in space. Cohen ran a wheel route and Trubisky delivered a great back-shoulder throw for the touchdown. Cohen is able to create separation and turn back the football for six points.