Chicago Bears offense continues to run in place
Late in the third quarter, Bears quarterback Nick Foles tossed to Cordarrelle Patterson on a fourth-and-1 the Bears absolutely had to have. Los Angeles Rams linebacker Terrell Lewis shed a block from Bears receiver Javon Wims and blew up the play in the backfield.
According to NFL Next Gen Stats, Patterson had an 88.5% chance of running for a first down on the play. It didn't happen.
The game probably was already over, but any chance at another fourth-quarter comeback became bleak. It was a curious play call to go away from David Montgomery, the Bears' only traditional running back, on fourth-and-1.
It also was emblematic of another ugly performance from the Bears' offense. The Rams defeated the Bears 24-10 on Monday night at SoFi Stadium in Inglewood, California.
The Bears' offensive line struggled mightily. The run game was nonexistent, again, totaling 49 rushing yards and only 2.9 yards a carry.
"It's not where I want to be," Bears coach Matt Nagy said of the run game. "You've got to run the ball in this league. You've got to be able to run the ball. We're trying to figure out ways to do it, and right now we've got to be better there. It starts with me."
Meanwhile, the Rams zigzagged their way up the field behind running backs Darrell Henderson and Malcolm Brown, piling up 165 rushing yards.
Bears center Cody Whitehair left the game with a calf injury, adding to the woes of the offensive line. If Whitehair is out for any length of time, those issues are only going to make matters worse.
Undrafted rookie Sam Mustipher took over center duties. The Bears were playing much of the second half with two undrafted offensive linemen, the other being left guard Rashaad Coward.
It's hard to blame Nagy for not running up the middle with Montgomery on fourth-and-1. Montgomery was met at the point of attack again and again.
There's plenty of blame to go around. Yes, Foles looked bad at the quarterback position. Yes, this was a bad game from Nagy, the offensive play caller.
But the signs have been apparent for weeks that the offensive line has serious issues. It was all the more obvious Monday. Unless the Bears can rectify those issues soon, they're going to be in trouble.
"I don't want to point fingers to just our offensive line or just our wide receivers, or tight ends or the quarterback, because we're all in this thing together," Nagy said. "We have to keep plugging away. We have to try to fight through this really difficult position that we're in right now."
Aaron Donald, Leonard Floyd and the Rams' front stuffed the Bears again and again. The Rams sacked Foles four times and had eight total QB hurries. Floyd had 2 sacks against his former team.
Rams coach Sean McVay identified a problem in his offense last year and revamped his run game using presnap motion.
Nagy's offense continues to run in place.