Despite the fact that the 2013 Bears season is heading towards a disappointing finish out of the playoffs yet again, the future appears to be bright for the offense.
The offensive system brought by first-year head coach Marc Trestman, which has affectionately become known around here as a Trest Coast Offense (or TCO for short) is a short-pass West Coast system which Trestman developed and built through his many stops in the NFL.
Trestman has never been a head coach in the NFL before this season and arguably has never had such a large stable of weapons at his disposal in one offense.
Sure he's worked with Bernie Kosar, Steve Young, Jerry Rice, Tim Brown and Ozzie Newsome, he's never quite had a running back like Matt Forte and even though he had Rice and Brown, both were north of 35 years old and beginning the downside of their career.
All that said, tonight on Monday Night Football the Bears and Trestman could accomplish something that's only been done once before in the team's 90-plus; Two 1,000-yard receivers and a 1,000 yard rusher.
If Brandon Marshall gets 10 yards receiving and Matt Forte runs for 29 yards, the Bears will meet this mark, since Alshon Jeffery went over the millennium mark last weekend.
The only other time the Bears have had three players over the 1,000 mark was in the legendary offensive season of 1995 when receivers Curtis Conway and Jeff Graham went over 1,000 yards with 1,037 and 1,301 and
Bears legend Rashaan Salaam had 1,074 yards on the ground. Quarterback Erik Kramer set the single-season passing mark of 3,838 yards passing and threw a record 29 TDs as well.
Jay Cutler was almost on pace to break the passing mark before his injury (3,816). But even in his absence the offense has been successful and it's a testament to the system and back-up Josh McCown that the achievement is still in reach.
The team came awful close to meeting the trifecta of 1,000-yarders in 1999 when Marcus Robinson had 1,400 yards, Bobby Engram had 947 yards and Curtis Enis had 916 yards.
Furthermore, the Bears could have an unprecedented four players with 60 or more receptions. Matt Forte is sitting at 58 and Martellus Bennett is at 48 and is on pace for 64. Jeffery has 70 and is on pace for 93 while Marshall has 78 and is on pace to break the century mark again with 104.
Forte is on pace for 1,888 scrimmage yards and a career-high 1,294 yards rushing. With Marshall and Jeffery both on pace for over 1,300 yards, this trio will not just break the '95 trio's record, but shatter it.
The offense currently ranks (according to pro-football-reference.com) fifth in the league in points and eighth in yards and if those hold up it would be the first time since '95 the team finished in the top ten in both of those categories since '95.
In fact, the similarities to '95 are kind of eerie when you consider that that team was 9-7 and was held back by a middling defense (ranked 22nd in points and 19th in yards) and finished third in the division and out of the playoffs.
Hopefully though this year's story ends a bit better, but even if not the offensive record books will be shattered by the TCO in year one and hopefully the numbers keep going up from here.
- Chicago Bears offensive skill positions: Projected stats for 2013 (pt.2)
- Chicago Bears Defense & Specialists: Projected stats for 2013 (pt.2)
- Chicago Bears to retire Mike Ditka's #89 Monday night during game vs Cowboys
- Chicago Bears Six-Pack Keys to Victory Over the Cowboys
- Chicago Bears Vs Dallas Cowboys Injury Report
- The Bears Den: December 09, 2013 - Week 14 Bears-Cowboys news & notes