Nagy has installed an inovative and creative offense, surprisingly it has struggled on several levels. Much is being blamed on a young QB, many point to an ongoing learning curve for all, the young signal caller included along with all players. While I think both are true the most glaring inefficiency I see is the running game in this offense struggling which has little to nothing to do with the QB or a players learning curve and everything to do with the system itself and how it is being used.
Below is an article that breaks down nicely exactly what I think I'm seeing on the field each week. By following the link you will find still shots and video clips illustrating the concepts presented.
Numbers Game: Why Jordan Howard can't find room to run in Bears' offense
Jordan Howard is off to the least productive start of his young NFL career. Through three games, he’s averaging under 3.5 yards per carry and fewer than 60 yards per game.
Despite what the traditional statistics say, the Chicago Bears’ running back is still having a strong season, individually.
The problem has been everyone around him. Bad run blocking, some poor scheming and a limited quarterback have all made it easier for opposing defenses to slow down Howard, and the all-22 film from Week 3 against the Arizona Cardinals showcased the problem.
Sometimes, Nagy’s offensive schemes can make the problem worse. The young head coach calls for a lot of pre-snap motion, which can do a lot to help the offense, except when it makes the problem worse for Howard.
Here again, the Cardinals put more defenders in the box than the Bears can account for with blockers.
The problem is, the play design brings Taylor Gabriel in motion from the left side of the screen, and he’s going to bring another defender into the box.
Gabriel isn’t a blocker; he’s just going to keep running, so the motion only gives Howard a worse front to face. And to top it off, the run is also designed in the same direction as the motion, so any defensive player following Gabriel will just be headed toward Howard too.
It’s not hard to tell that this run won’t go anywhere, even before the snap.
Nagy needs to pay less attention to his complicated yet creative passing attack and focus on effectively using his best weapon. Quit trying to be so damn cute with it and establish a punishing ground attack and all the rest will open up and begin to come easy. This comes back to scheme and system, and playcalling on game day with adjustments as required. I believe this is the real root to most, maybe all, of the offensive problems right now and by extension a struggling young QB.