Chicago Bears, Pretender or Contender?

October 31, 2018

The Bears are off to one of their best starts in a few years under first year head coach Matt Nagy. The Bears are currently in first place of the NFC North sitting at 4-3 after last weeks win over the Jets. This week the Bears have the Buffalo Bills which should be an easy win if things go right. Sitting at 5-3 with a key stretch against a few divisional opponents could give the Bears a good chance to extend that lead. With the early success the Bears have seen this year it will be interesting to see if they can sustain it and make the playoff run or even a deep run at that.

 

The Bears success this year has come largely in part to their run defense and ability to throw the ball down field, an area in which they struggled in last season. The Bears are currently the only team in the NFL to not allow a rushing touchdown which through 7 games is insane. The Bears are third in the league at rushing yards allowed, giving up just over 83 yards per game on the ground. Khalil Mack leading the defense has been a big part of this success but a lot of the success is due to Danny Trevathan and rookie Roquon Smith who trails only Trevathan in tackles this year. The pass defense isn't bad either, currently ranked 15th in the league lands them right in the middle of the pack. 

 

The offense is much improved this year as well thanks the the improvement of Mitch Trubisky and the addition of a few key players in the passing game. Allen Robinson was the big addition during the off-season but two guys who have really gotten off to a hot start this year are Taylor Gabriel who leads the team in receptions at 34 and Trey Burton who leads the team in TD receptions with 4 along with 343 yards. Another guy who has been a bit of a surprise is rookie receiver, Anthony Miller who hauled in his third TD of the season this past week. For the first time in a while the Bears have an Elite receiving core (or at least the making of one). Along with those guys the Bears still have Robinson who has been banged up and former first round pick, Kevin White who appears to be making some plays and is finally staying healthy. White has had little action but does have 3 catches for 70 yards over the past two weeks and has a chance to continue to get more action as Allen Robinson is doubtful for this weeks game.

 

Where does that leave the Bears in the playoff discussion? I think the Bears are a serious contender to make the playoffs and think they will go 10-6 with a favorable schedule from here on out. The Bears have the Rams at home in December but every other game besides that should be winnable. The trips to Minnesota and Detroit as well as Green Bay coming to Chicago will all be challenges, but outside of those they have the Giants, 49ers, and Bills who are 3 of the 5 worst teams in the NFL.

 

A 10-6 record should get them into the playoffs, might win the division but at the least should get them a wild card spot. With that I think a playoff birth would definitely be considered a successful season but Bears fans shouldn't get ahead of themselves and think Super Bowl yet. Chicago is definitely heading in the right direction, however I think the Bears are still missing a piece or two in the secondary to take that secondary from good to great and would like to see the addition of another solid offensive lineman especially with the injuries that Kyle Long has suffered the past few years. If they can get pro-bowl caliber safety, a solid corner and an offensive lineman or two I think the 2019 Chicago Bears will be a very serious threat to win the Superbowl.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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