If looking for a positive moving forward regarding this Chicago Bears team, you can find it in the offense. While they are experiencing growing pains, they are also gradually developing into a solid unit.
Expectations that this group would be improved from last season have been met and exceeded through six weeks. New head coach Marc Trestman has certainly had a big impact on that side of the ball; implementing a west coast offense that best fits the personnel on the roster.
Last year the Bears’ offense ranked near the bottom in nearly every statistical category; this season they rank fifth in points, 11th in yards per game, 12th in passing yards and 18th rushing yards. Not elite offensive numbers, but for a team ranked in the bottom half last season, it shows that this offense is on its way.
Jay Cutler is having his best year in a Bears uniform. Yes, he’s on pace for career highs in yards and touchdowns, but a significant stat in my opinion is his completion percentage, where Cutler is at 66% through six games.
That’s impressive considering he has always been around the 58-to-60 range throughout his tenure with the Bears. Half of the credit for Cutler’s success goes to Trestman, who has had made it an emphasis for the QB to get rid of the football.
The success from Cutler this season also signifies that he’s buying into Trestman’s system, and when the QB buys in, that usually trickles down to the rest of the offensive players.
The skill positions have been solid, as both Brandon Marshall and Alshon Jeffery are developing into one of the better WR tandems in the league. The emergence of Jeffery has been quite the story this early in the season. The second year WR has looked comfortable in Trestman’s offense, displaying a better understanding how to read coverages and get open.
Teams are even starting to dictate their coverages toward his side, which gives one of the elite WRs in the game in Marshall more one-on-one opportunities. It also helps that the Bears finally have a starting NFL-caliber TE in Martellus Bennett.
Bennett has been a legit weapon for Cutler in the middle of the field and an additional one in the red zone. RB Matt Forte is proving to be a perfect fit in the west coast offense, as the first year head coach has used the versatile weapon effectively all over the field.
This offense has shown encouraging signs but still has a lot of room for improvement. While the offensive line improved from last season in terms of pass protection, they can be inconsistent at times. They have shown to be consistently good at run blocking however, ranking ninth in run blocking efficiency according to Pro Football Focus.
They also need someone to step up in that third WR role. Right now, Earl Bennett is occupying the role and he's struggling in it. Either the Bears need to stick with Bennett and hope he can break out of the slump or see what they have in rookie Marquess Wilson or second-year man Joe Anderson.
Right now, the Bears’ offense is not quite there yet as far being mentioned with some of the elite teams like the Green Bay Packers and the Denver Broncos, but what we have seen these six weeks is that the arrow is definitely pointing up.
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