I'm writing this a few days too late. Oh well. The Bears are 4-2 and are sitting pretty in the division. While the start to the season has been pretty good considering the overhaul of the coaching staff, the team is not all sunshine and rainbows.
The offense is coming together very well. They are moving the ball, minimizing turnovers (save the Detroit game), and scoring points. For the first time in a very long time, this offense is exciting to watch. They have playmakers all over the field in Marshall, Jeffery, Bennet^2, and Forte. Let's not forget Jay Cutler, who has been spectacular and if he keeps this up, he will be in Chicago for the forseeable future. The offensive line is great considering that they have four new starters. The right side of rookies are holding up well and have not been a liability. What a find Jordan Mills has been for Phil Emery. Wow. I was completely wrong about Kyle Long because this guy can play football and he's huge. Jermon Bushrod has played as advertised and Matt Slauson has earned himself an extension. Roberto Garza has been solid, but his time with the team is limited due to his age. This offense has consistently gotten better and will continue to do so as every member of the team becomes more comfortable with their roles.
The concern for the team, something I never would have thought I'd say, is the defense. Yes, this unit has been decimated with injuries, especially in the middle of the team; however, prior to the injuries they haven't been playing well. They are giving up way too many big plays - especially on third down. Third down is the money down and the defense is allowing conversion after conversion. The Giants (who suck) converted multiple third and longs with relative ease. If this team can't get off the field then as the season goes on, they will deteriorate. What's going on with Major Wright? In a contract year, he is blowing way too many coverages - it's unbelievable. The most concerning thing about this team is the lack of pass rush. As good as the defensive line was last year, they cannot get to the quarterback. Quarterbacks are looking way too comfortable in the pocket - even Christian Ponder threw for over 300 yards against this team. The defensive backs cannot be expected to cover receivers for that long. Julius Peppers is not looking like a player who has a $14 million dollar cap hit. If he doesn't up his production, this is his last year with this team. Shea McClellin looks like a bust. Corey Wooten is moved inside to offset the loss of Nate Collins and Henry Melton. This line is in terrible condition; however, it can work if Peppers and McClellin start playing like first round picks.
The success of this team will always depend on the defense and for once they are not doing their job. They need to step up if the BEars are going to make the playoffs and make a run at the coveted Super Bowl Championship
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