Lack of downfield threat hurting Mike Glennon and Bears' offense

Mike Glennon has attempted to just one pass over 20 yards this season. Brian Blanco/Getty Images

LAKE FOREST, Ill. -- Chicago Bears quarterback Mike Glennon is under intense scrutiny for obvious reasons: Glennon plays the highest-profile position in professional sports, he turned the ball over three times in Week 2, and Glennon's backup, Mitchell Trubisky, happens to be the second overall pick of the 2017 draft.

Take a look at the Bears' roster -- if you dare.

Trubisky is the only backup that might -- and notice, I wrote might -- raise the level of play on offense.

The rookie showed some encouraging glimpses in the preseason; the most notable was having the accuracy and arm strength to move outside of the pocket and challenge a defense vertically.

Glennon hasn't shown the consistent ability to do that -- in games nor in practice.

To be clear, Glennon isn't the only problem on offense.

The Bears are ravaged again by injuries to key contributors such as Cameron Meredith, Kevin White, Kyle Long, Markus Wheaton and Josh Sitton.

Add running back Jordan Howard to that list as well. Howard's been active both weeks, but he's not giving the Bears much as he nurses a shoulder injury. Howard's been off in every sense of the word. Not only is Howard averaging a paltry 2.7 yards per rushing attempt, but his hands continue to betray him out of the backfield.

Glennon's had to make do with Josh Bellamy, Deonte Thompson, Tre McBride and Tanner Gentry at wide receiver -- not exactly what he envisioned in the preseason. And the lone Bears receiver that's shown he can take the top off an NFL defense is Wheaton, who's barely practiced after undergoing an appendectomy and finger surgery.

The Bears also have seven drops this season, most in the league. They had four red zone drops on Sunday.

But Glennon's limitations contribute to the overall problems.

Teams continue to stack the box and challenge underneath routes against the Bears because there's simply no threat of Glennon burning them downfield.

According to ESPN Stats & Information, Glennon has thrown 85 passes this season, tied for third-most in the league prior to Matthew Stafford and Eli Manning squaring off on Monday Night Football.

Exactly one of those passes -- an incompletion to Tarik Cohen in Week 1 -- has been thrown 20 or more yards down the field.

The only qualified quarterback with a lower percentage of attempts thrown 20-plus yards downfield this season is Oakland Raiders' Derek Carr, who hasn't thrown any yet in '17.

In fact, Glennon didn't throw his first pass traveling more than 10 yards downfield until 6:00 left in the 2nd quarter on Sunday in Tampa, via ESPN Stats & Info. His first pass traveling 15 or more yards downfield came with 10:09 remaining in the 4th quarter.

Wheaton is expected to return soon -- perhaps against his former team the Pittsburgh Steelers on Sunday -- but how much can he help?

It's difficult to loosen up a defense when no one thinks the quarterback can beat you deep.