Are the Bears playoff bound?
It has been seven seasons since the Chicago Bears have made the playoffs. Now, I know what you are saying, “Playoffs?! It’s only week 4!”. And I understand your skepticism. The Bears barely squeezed by with the win in Arizona. They are looking similar to the Bears of the past. A mediocre offense led by a stellar defense.
The Bears offense has been lackluster so far this year. The Matt Nagy offensive scheme was hyped up to be one of the best in the NFL this season. Similar to how Sean McVay turned around the offense with Jared Goff. The problem with that comparison is that Mitch Trubisky doesn’t have the same starting experience as Jared Goff had, college and professional. Trubicky does have the tools to be one of the best quarterbacks in Bears history, which isn’t going to be incredibly hard. Trubisky has great athleticism, he has already showed that this year when the offensive line broke down a few times. And when Mitch can stand in the pocket and get his feet set before he throws, he is deadly accurate. Mitch has one of the better supporting casts in the NFL. Hopefully he can start using the effectively. Watching the games this season, you can see the progression of Mitch and Nagy alike. As much as Trubisky has to learn to be a reliable quarterback, Nagy has to learn how to be a head coach.
Matt Nagy was the offensive coordinator for the Kansas City Chiefs last season. He did take over play calling duties for Andy Reid last season as the Chiefs were in a slump, losing multiple games in a row. Once Nagy took over, the scoring erupted. He ended up coach Alex Smith to over 4000 passing yard. The Chiefs were one of the most fun teams to watch last season. They could score on any play, any way. The Bears have a very similar group of skill players as Nagy had at his disposal. So, what’s the difference? Andy Reid. Nagy did extremely well as a coordinator. However, when you don’t have your mentor to advise you when you need, it can cause a few hiccups. Once Nagy can get the hang of being the head coach, not just coordinator, look out NFL. This will most likely take place by week 7.
The defense is better than most expected this year. The Bears were already a top 10 defense last year. They resigned key pieces in Kyle Fuller and Prince Amukamara. They then went out and drafted Roquan Smith. At that point the Bears were expected to recreate that top 10 defense this year. Then on a Saturday morning, while most of us were still sleeping, the Bears traded for Khalil Mack, who may go down as one of the best in a long list of Chicago legends at the linebacker position. If you have any of the Chicago Bears games this year, you have to have seen the disruption and chaos he causes for opposing teams. Mack has recorded a sack and forced fumble in each of the first three games. But you don’t even have to look at his individual stat line to see his impact. Mack Chicago leads the league in sacks this year. They went back to back in weeks 1 and 2 with interceptions returned for touchdowns. It would have been three if Mack hadn’t jumped offsides late in the game in Arizona when safety Eddie Jackson’s pick six was nullified. Watching this Bears defense brings back memories from the Brian Urlacher days. It still may be too early to tell, but if the bears can continue this type of growth, look for them come January.