Being 3-1 is certainly a strange feeling for the Chicago Bears organization and its fans.
Take away a conservative half of football in the season opener against Green Bay and the Bears could easily be 4-0 and talked about as one of the league’s elites.
That is quite astonishing since the Bears have won only 14 games over the last three seasons including just five a year ago. John Fox is thankfully gone and Matt Nagy is in town bringing creativity and a breath of fresh air to the sidelines.
Looking ahead to Sunday’s Week 6 tilt in Miami (3-2), the Bears play the next four games against AFC East opponents with home meetings versus New England and New York before traveling to Buffalo. Nov. 11 marks just the second NFC North matchup, coming against Detroit.
This progress is surprising to many but inside the Bears locker room, the confidence is high and with the defense playing at an elite level there is a chance to win every week.
Second-year quarterback Mitch Trubisky threw a stunning six touchdowns in the blowout win over Tampa Bay two weeks ago. Don’t expect performances like that from him anytime soon, but if he can toss two to three touchdowns a game and keep the turnovers down, then the Bears could be awfully tough to beat.
Khalil Mack has been a beast defensively and his presence has boosted everyone around him. Veteran cornerback Prince Amukamara is returning from a hamstring injury that kept him out of the last two games. That is quietly a big addition back to this defense.
As long as Nagy uses his extensive playbook to utilize gadget players Taylor Gabriel and Tarik Cohen and get the ball in the hands of his playmakers Trey Burton, Allen Robinson, Anthony Miller and Jordan Howard (on the ground) then this thing should continue rolling.
Spreading it around and keeping the defense guessing is key and the Bears haven’t had that mentality offensively in quite some time. As good as Lovie Smith was in his era as the head coach in Chicago, he never really succeeded in finding an offensive coordinator to work alongside him. Nagy has smart minds around him offensive coordinator Mark Helfrich, quarterbacks coach Dave Ragone and defensive coordinator Vic Fangio.
Fun fact: The Bears are donning their alternate orange jerseys for the first time since Nov. 13, 2011 when they beat Detroit 37-13 at Soldier Field. In that game, the offense totaled just 216 yards as Jay Cutler completed 9-of-19 passes, but it was the defense that forced a whopping six turnovers (four Matthew Stafford interceptions, two returned for touchdowns).
Expect to see a lot of orange at Hard Rock Stadium on Sunday afternoon for this Bears-Dolphins game.
The chance for this Bears offense to score is there as Miami has given up 382.6 total yards per game and 23.4 points per game. However, outside of the 38-7 loss to New England two weeks ago, the Dolphins defense hasn’t allowed more than 27 points, forcing 11 turnovers (10 interceptions, one forced fumble) this season. Cornerback Xavien Howard leads the way with three picks of his own.
Quarterback Ryan Tannehill (shoulder) is listed as questionable but is expected to play. He’s turned the ball over six times (five interceptions, one fumble). That includes two pick six’s last week against Cincinnati. The Bears should catch a break with veteran defensive end Cameron Wake likely out with a knee injury.
As long as the Bears defense can set the tone early, I expect this to be win No. 4 for the Nagy led franchise.
Regardless of how long this winning streak lasts, the Bears are respected around the league and a fun team to watch. It has been quite the change in a very short span of time.
Bears 24, Dolphins 14
Season record (3-1)
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