Chicago Bears must continue this on offense

Chicago Bears - Credit: Matt Marton-USA TODAY Sports
Chicago Bears - Credit: Matt Marton-USA TODAY Sports /

The most frustrating part of the Matt Nagy offense over the past couple of years has been his inability to understand the game flow. We predicted, rightfully, that Matt Nagy would have a hard time mixing in Khalil Herbert now that David Montgomery is back because the Chicago Bears head coach would never know the right times to make the move.

This proved true against Pittsburgh and even more after the bye week. What is so funny is that you can tell that Matt Nagy spent the bye week working on creative ways to get Herbet on the field with David Montgomery.

On the Chicago Bears’ first drive, they did a great job of getting creative in their usage of both and worked as the team marched down the field.

Check out this play early on in the game. Khalil Herbert is lined up at wide receiver, but he motions across at the snap. This freezes defenders on the left, and they hesitate as the run goes to the right to David Montgomery. This gives Montgomery space at the second level to move towards the first down. Watch the two linebackers closer to the bottom of the play. They are slow to move to Montgomery because of the Herbert motion.

On the second drive, they branched off of this. Again, Herbert is in motion, but this time they run a play-action pass. One key of Herbert lining up wide and motioning is that it helps indicate to Fields that the Ravens are in zone. They do not move a linebacker out to Herbert when he is wide, and when he motions, no one follows.

Beyond that, they add in the play action. Both linebackers on the right respect Herbert and freeze. That means that the corner at the top has to stay low and respect Montgomery because neither linebacker can get over there. The corner staying low, and knowing it is zone is what opens a huge passing window for Justin Fields.

Fields miss the throw, but this is scheme and great play calling. This is what we thought Matt Nagy would consistently bring to the offense. You will notice that I chose a play from the first and second drives and no others.

Herbert played 3 snaps on the first drive. He played one snap on the second drive. Those four snaps are more than the three he played the rest of the game.

One time to start the second half the Bears ran the same formation, but a false start negated the play. From there, they changed personnel. Then, we saw Herbert with Andy Dalton for two plays by himself.

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Maybe when Fields got hurt it ended the chance to break this out later in the game. On the flip side, it seems obvious that the scripted drive and the drive out of the half were the only drives they used this look because once they get off script, Nagy forgets to adjust in-game.