Most people may say that the Bears are back, but I for one, am not sure if I can believe in the hype. The bears have shown immense improvements from last year after they finished their season with just a 5-11 record. Once they got rid of John Fox the bears clearly look like a better team but don’t let that record fool you, this team is not as electric as you may think.
Throughout this year we have seen the bears dominate and that is no question but have you taken a look at who they have played this season? The Bears are a good football team I’ll give them that but I think people are giving them a little too much credit. The big bad bears have only lost 4 games but don’t shy away from the fact that 3 of those teams currently aren’t making playoffs and the fourth team has a guy we like to call Tom Brady. Don’t get me wrong, Aaron Rodgers was probably more than capable of winning that game at the time and I seriously hope no one believed they were gonna beat the Patriots. But wait, this big bad bears defense couldn’t handle some Broke Osweiler, who isn’t even the starter and a broken Eli Manning? Losses like that aren’t going to help you, especially if you think you’re a contender.
Enough of the losing, let’s look at the list of teams they’ve beat this year. The Seahawks, Cardinals, Lions, Bills, Vikings, Jets, and Dolphins, which are almost all mediocore teams. The Seahawks are really the only team I give them credit for beating however lets not forget they are not the same team they were in Week 2. Anyone with a brain can see that list is a complete joke and to me those wins don’t really prove anything. I’m not trying to take anything away from the bears but they have not shown me that they can make a run in the playoffs yet. Some may sit there and think that well they beat the Vikings so that means something. Not exactly, the Vikings have what they need to win games but they are also the most inconsistent team in football. They lost to the Bills… by 21, so I’m sorry to burst your bubble bear fans but it’s not too much of an accomplishment. Not to mention that if you combined the record of all these teams you’ll get a measly 33-51.
The Bears defense is most likely going to be the reason they are kept in games but I wouldn’t let this offense intimidate you all that much. Trubisky is a very talented quarterback and he’s going to thrive with the bears in the future but right now I don’t think he has the weapons to beat teams like the chiefs, Rams, Saints, and Patriots. This offense is decent but I’m going to give most of the credit to offensive coordinator Mark Helfrich. Without him then this offense takes a big hit because I wouldn’t say that they rely so much on their personnel on the field but its more of the play calling.
The Bears got what they believe is their No. 1 wide receiver in Allen Robinson but he hasn’t been as much as a factor as they thought he was gonna be. So far this season, Robinson has recorded only 571 yards and 4 touchdowns on 41 receptions. Although he does have the most production from his position it’s still not a great stat line to be happy with when your supposed to be the top option on the field.
The other Bears receivers have been playing acceptable football but shouldnt really pose much of a threat to most secondaries. Anthony Miller has had 399 yards and 6 touchdowns on 30 receptions, Gabriel has recorded 544 yards and 2 touchdowns on 51 receptions, and Trey Burton currently has 448 yards and 5 touchdowns on 38 catches. I defiantly think if this team had a true number 1 wide receiver things would be different but for now you gotta make do with what you got.
It’s not like this is a bad team, but when your running back has produced more yards from the air than each of your receivers individually then something needs to change. You are not going to be able to win important games with Tarik Cohen as the featured player of your offense its just not going to happen. Cohen has now rushed the ball just 74 times for 370 yards and 2 scores but he has been extra busy in the passing game. He has caught 59 balls this season on 77 targets (leads team) for 659 yards and 4 touchdowns. Cohen brings a lot of speed to his game, but he is still only 5’6 which puts him in a disadvantage in most scenarios. Now this is clearly working for them but like I said they haven’t played anyone too scary yet and I’m not sure if they can win those games by counting on Tarik Cohen, all the time.
Even though Cohen seems like the bright spot of this offense and has been outstanding this year, Jordan Howard is still very much a thing. Howard has been very special for this team the past couple years but he’s been showing some regression this season. Howard has now ran the ball 178 times for 626 yards and 6 scores while averaging only 3.4 YPC, numbers that could all be up more but since this team has become more pass heavy it has taken its toll on Howards production. Howard has only gone over 80 yards once this season when he ran for 82 and no score in Week 1 but has just been awful since then. He has also now recorded 5 games where he hasnt ran for more than 40 yards this season, not too pretty from your No. 1 back, huh?
All in all this is pretty young offense and I think a little more experience and man power on the offense is just what this team needs if they wanna be great.
Im going to say it again this is a good football team but lets atleast try to shift that hype to a team who can really contend like the Chargers or Texans. They have a pretty easy schedule coming up other than facing the Rams this week, they get the 49ers, Vikings, and Packers the weeks following. The Bears have a pretty good chance of winning those games after this week but lets just see how well they perform against one of the best teams in football this week. Personally, I think the Rams handle them with ease.
Photo: Rob Carr/Getty Images