The Chicago Bears have played four games this season and are off to a solid start. With three wins and a week 2 loss, and the Bears a tied for Minnesota for first place in the NFC North.
Jay Cutler is the face of the team. On the field he is on track to what we expected. He can make big throws, and seems to play better when offensive coordinator Mike Tice balances the offense with passing and running. Speaking of running, I really like back up running back Michael Bush. Of course Forte is “the guy”, but I like when they mix in Bush every third series and at the goal line. He would be a starting running back for at least 10 teams in the NFL if he wasn’t in Chicago, and is much better then Chester Taylor and Marion Barber.
The biggest change to this Bears team is the weapons. Brandon Marshall and Alshon Jeffery are major upgrades to the group that also features a reliable Earl Bennett, when healthy, and an improved Devin Hester. The offensive line is shaky, but can be effective when Tice calls a good game that features quicker throws and shorter drops. A perfect example is how Tice called the game in Dallas on Monday night.
The defense is in midseason form. They lead the league with 14 takeaways and are third in sacks with 15. The defensive line has been able to rush four effectively. Henry Melton, Julius Peppers, Israel Idonije and Shea McClellin all have at least two sacks. Lance Briggs is having an amazing year and Brian Urlacher is holding up. The cornerbacks are doing well. Charles Tillman and Tim Jennings are forcing turnovers and containing receivers. D.J. Moore and Kelvin Hayden can be trusted in nickel and dime situations. If the concern on the offense is the line, then the weaknesses on the defense is the safety positions. Chris Conte and Major Wright have made some big plays but they are occasionally out of position when the Bears defense is in a cover-two.
The special teams has done well as always, and it’s only a matter of time before there is a return for a touchdown.
The Bears now have a great opportunity to continue to be in first place in the NFC North. They go to Jacksonville on Sunday. Then there is a bye week, a Monday night home game against Detroit, home against Carolina and away to Tennessee. Four games in a row where the Bears will likely be favorites. Health and continued execution will be key in the second quarter of the season.