I finished reading through the 16 pages of "Bears Franchise Direction: Everything's Awful/Things Aren't So Bad/Etc." Don't know if that earns me a badge or not, and I'm not going to even try the near 50 pages on the Bears QB. Before the NFL season ends, I wanted to share the good-bad-ugly from this season, and maybe others can offer up their highlights and lowlights.
- Offensive weapons: It finally felt like the Bears have some decent offensive weapons in ARob, Miller, Montgomery, Patterson and Cohen. ARob has shaken off his injuries and emerged as a true #1 WR. Miller has shown flashes of a second round pick though he needs to work on consistency/maturity. Monty can get some yards if he can get the OL to generate a little bit of space. While Patterson and Cohen may seem to be gadget players, opposing teams have to respect their speed.
- Top 10 Defense: In spite of the Fangio farewell and numerous key injuries, the Bears D played stout and kept them in nearly every game. Unfortunately a struggling O would cause the D to lose some steam at the end of some games. The Bears have good depth on D and can weather some players leaving.
- Dallas Game: The Bears came in to a prime-time game against the league's top rated offense with their own offense struggling. The Cowboys were desperate for a W and most picked them to win. The Bears D shut down Dak, allowed one score after a few runs by Elliot and frustrated the Cowboys all night. The Bears O scored early and often, where Mitch showed signs of his scrambling self. It would be the only game of the year he would gain significant rushing yards.
- Offense regressed: In year 2 of the Nagy-Mitch supposed to be potent O, the Bears stumbled coming out of the gate and never really recovered, ending up about 30th in the league. Was it coaching/playcalling, poor OL play or Mitch ineffectiveness? After many pages of comments we still aren't sure.
- Injuries: The Bears were somewhat lucky last year with the injury bug, though losing EJax for the Philly game was difficult. This season the Bears had their top 3 TE's out at the same time, their #2 WR concussed for the last part of the year, Long no longer able to play, Mitch out with a bad shoulder, Hicks and Treviathan out with mangled elbows, and Roquan missing due to various reasons.
- Pukers games: The season opener was a horrible gut punch, national TV against Erin and a reworked D. The Bears O looked unprepared as if they were just starting training camp. Bears D was great yet they could only score 3. The second game showed a somewhat better effort by the Bears O. Unfortunately they could not convert opportunities into scores. Mitch made probably the most long throws of the season but they could not overcome three turnovers, including an INT to a DL.
- TE corps: Bears braintrust decided to go all in with Burton and hoped Shaheen would finally break through. Burton aggravated his mangina early and didn't do much of anything all season. Shaheen went bust and could not realize the potential Pace saw in him. Pace eventually found a cast-off TE from the Redskins who was somewhat serviceable as a blocker and caught a few passes. The stat of the year: no TE caught over 100 yds for the whole season. Ugly.
- Expectations after going 12-4: turns out the Bears O looks much better when the D is either scoring or giving them short fields. With the Bears D falling back to the mean for generating turnovers, the Bears O could never put it together. The result of us wishing for a real NFL scoring offense was dashed to the ground.
TRUBISKY: We'll see if this season was a trial by fire, going through mental/emotional/physical injuries. Mitch either grows stronger afterwards or ends up as another washed-up Bears QB project. He just went through shoulder surgery, so his lack of scrambling could have been due to this injury as well as the hip injury. His strength is scrambling and running to keep a D honest.
Is it ONLY 7 months to wait? These offseasons seem to be getting longer and longer
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