Bears QB Mitchell Trubisky laments poor performance by offense

CHICAGO -- Bears rookie quarterback Mitchell Trubisky didn’t mince words after his team's 17-3 win over the Carolina Panthers.

“I thought I played really poor,” Trubisky told reporters. “I just have to be better overall.”

The entire offense does, too. A lot better.

It’s hard to fathom the Bears beating many opponents over the final nine games if the offense has the ball for only 21:25.

On Sunday, the Bears ran just 37 plays compared to 67 by the Panthers. And the Bears offense didn’t accomplish much when on the field. Trubisky finished the afternoon 4-of-7 for 107 yards passing.

Take away Tarik Cohen's 70-yard reception -- Trubisky’s only memorable throw of the day -- and the Bears were 3-of-6 for 37 yards through the air.

The last team to have seven or fewer pass attempts all by the same player are the 2006 Panthers, coached by -- you guessed it -- John Fox. The Panthers quarterback that day in 2006: Chris Weinke, who beat the Falcons 10-3.

“I’ve seen a lot,” Bears coach Fox said. “I’ve been part of those games. This is a team game. Sometimes, it’s going to be one-sided in one way or another. I’ve seen that before. It’s about execution. But at the end of the day, you have smiling faces in the locker room, and they fought hard for that victory.”

It’s true: Winning cures mostly everything in professional sports.

But there won’t be many smiles in Chicago’s offensive meeting rooms Monday when they turn on the tape to review that performance.

Even the running game sputtered.

Say what you want about conservative playcalling to protect a lead -- many Bears offered that explanation in the postgame locker room -- but the Bears’ identity on offense is built around running the football.

Fresh off a monster game in Baltimore, Bears running back Jordan Howard was limited to 65 yards on 21 carries (3.1 yards per attempt). Cohen didn’t carry the ball a single time out of the backfield. And Trubisky was credited with 3 yards on five rushing attempts, giving the Bears a grand total of 68 yards on the ground.

Factor in the lost yardage on the sacks, and the Bears had 153 total net yards of offense.

“We just have to be more consistent on offense to help our defense out; we just have to get a couple more scores and downs together to keep them off the field," Trubisky said of Carolina, which had the ball for 38:35. "It was hard to get in a rhythm because we really weren’t on the field for much of the first half because they were driving the ball. It was kind of strange, but we will take them how we can get them. It was nice to get the win, but we just need to be better on offense.”

The Bears have a defense with emerging playmakers such as Eddie Jackson, Akiem Hicks, Leonard Floyd and Danny Trevathan, just to name a few. But for the Bears to make real noise in the second half of the season, when the schedule lightens up, the offense has to pull its weight.

That didn’t happen on Sunday.