Chicago Bears Season Review

Chicago Bears Season Review
Reading Time: 4 minutes.

The Chicago Bears as a franchise were completely revolutionised under head coach, Matt Nagy. Under his leadership, the Bears’ offence was significantly bolstered in terms of quality, whilst the defence absolutely dominated all year long. Unfortunately, they were dismissed in the Wildcard Round of the playoffs, ending what was ultimately a fantastic season. Below I aim to sum up the plus points of their excellent season, as well as highlighting the negatives. 

The Negatives

Let’s get this one right out of the way. Everyone knows that failing to pass the Wild Card Round in the 2018 Playoffs was criminal to say the least for such a talented team like the Bears. The 15-16 loss will live on in the memory of every Chicagoan for the rest of eternity. But it’s likely Cody Parkey who they’ll have nightmares about for the rest of their lives.

Parkey’s “double doink” which ultimately ended the Bears’ Super Bowl dreams was met with frustration and surprise. However, I don’t know why because Parkey foreshadowed this throughout the year. Firstly, he hit the uprights four times against the Detroit Lions. He also ended the season having missed 7 of 30 field goals, as well as missing 3 PAT. In conclusion, it’s no secret or rumour that Parkey won’t be returning to the Bears’ facility next season. At least the fans hope not.

Defensive Dominance

The Chicago Bears were lights out on defense, with four players being nominated to the Pro Bowl. Those were Khalil Mack, Akiem Hicks, Kyle Fuller and Eddie Jackson. 

In my opinion, the trade for Khalil Mack was no doubt the transfer of the year. He was an absolute handful all year long for opposing teams. Plus, he altered the outcome of games more often than not. Mack concluded the year with 1 pick six, 4 pass deflections, 6 forced fumbles and 2 fumble recoveries. He also added 12.5 sacks, 18 QB hits, 10 TFL and 47 tackles. There remained literally no answer for Mack’s athleticism, until they met the Eagles in the postseason, of course. 

Next up, we have the Bears’ secondary. Through 14 starts, Eddie Jackson lit up the league with 6 interceptions, 2 of which he converted into pick sixes. He also notched 15 pass deflections and 2 forced fumbles, as well as recovering a fumble for a touchdown. 

Kyle Fuller was similarly great this year. Fuller lead the league in interceptions (7) and pass deflections (21), whilst also contributing 55 combined tackles in a truly epic season. His fourth year in the league was almost immaculate as he continues to perform at a high level. 

Lastly, but not at all least, Akiem Hicks. His presence was felt just as much as Mack’s in the trenches. As he accumulated 5 pass deflections, 3 forced fumbles, 7.5 sacks, 55 tackles and 12 TFL. Despite entering his eighth year in the league, he certainly has shown no signs of slowing down in the slightest.

The Birth Of Fantastic Offence 

As aforementioned, the offence was greatly improved from last season and years prior. 

The Bears’ Tarik Cohen was nominated to the Pro Bowl in what was a fantastic season for him. In addition, Mitchell Trubisky came on leaps and bounds this year, as he has cemented himself as a favourite within and without the locker room. 

Many believed that Mitchell Trubisky simply wouldn’t transcend himself as a franchise quarterback. Those people were wrong however, as he produced an exquisite year at the helm of this young team. He posted an 11-3 QB record for the season.

Moreover, he contributed 3223 passing yards on 289 completions, adding 24 touchdowns in the process. His production this year was emphatically improved in Nagy’s system. Not only was the accuracy when throwing the ball far greater than yesteryear, Trubisky was incredibly dangerous when scrambling out of the pocket. 

Tarik Cohen is an athlete many critics felt would never make the grade in the NFL due  to his small frame. Boy, did he prove those people wrong. He was nominated as a member of the Pro Bowl, and named an All-Pro as a return specialist for his excellent production. Statistically, Cohen contributed 444 yards on 99 rushes, as he added 3 rushing touchdowns to his résumé. Moreover, with 71 receptions he amassed 725 yards and 5 touchdowns, averaging 10.2 yards per catch. It was truly a phenomenal season for Cohen, who is immersing himself within the local community as a fan favourite, as well as around the NFL. 

A Look To The Future

Unfortunately, the Bears were unable to retain defensive coordinator, Vic Fangio, as he exits Chicago for the Mile High City in Denver. He completely transcended the way the Bears play defence this season and utilised every key piece they boasted to the best of his ability all season. Luckily, they are replacing him with veteran coach, Chuck Pagano. He served as head coach for the Indianapolis Colts from 2012-2017, as well as serving as defensive coordinator for the Baltimore Ravens in 2011 most recently. For me, this change in coaching will largely produce similar results as last year because of how great a coach both guys are. Furthermore, with the athlete’s that the Bears possess there shouldn’t be a problem in the upcoming season. 

On a production front, Mitchell Trubisky has cemented himself as the franchise quarterback for years to come. Besides that, Jordan Howard and Tarik Cohen provide a lethal running game, whilst the O-line remains strong. If the Bears can pickup a wideout in the upcoming draft to bolster the receiving game, the Bears’ offence could be elevated to the next level. 

As for the defence, I can’t express enough how impressed I am by that unit. They are simply the most dominant force in all football right now, and I can’t see that change next season. 

Image Credits – @ChicagoBears on Twitter

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