There were high hopes for the 2016 Chicago Bears at the beginning of the season, primarily due to the assembly of talented starters Ryan Pace had worked two years to put together. And on Monday night versus the NFC North leading Minnesota Vikings, abut half of those players were healthy enough to contribute to a 20-10 win.
Jay Cutler: 20/ 31, 252 yards, 1 TD, 100.5 rating
Jordan Howard: 26 rushes, 153 yards, 1 TD | 4 receptions, 49 yards
Zach Miller: 7 receptions, 88 yards
Alshon Jeffery: 4 receptions, 63 yards, 1 TD
Jerrell Freeman: 7 tackles
Danny Trevathan: 6 tackles, 2 pass deflections
Akiem Hicks: 4 tackles, 2 sacks, 1 pass deflection
Leonard Floyd & Pernell McPhee: 1 QB sack apiece
LET’S TALK ABOUT THAT DEFENSE
Danny Trevathan is a grown man. As is Jerrell Freeman, Akiem Hicks, and the rookie Leonard Floyd. These guys all play with a reckless abandon that kept Sam Bradford and the Vikings offense off-kilter, and are the future of this Chicago Bears defense.
Also, we need to address the rookie defensive backs that have been rushed into service too early... Cre’Von Leblanc, De’Vante Bausby, Jacoby Glenn (Practice Team), Deiondre’ Hall, etc. There is some serious talent in that group, which was all scouted by general manager Ryan Pace. They haven’t made every play they could have, but considering they got thrust into action before they were ready, we can give them a pass. They are also the future of the Bears defense.
JAY CUTLER IS THE SPARK PLUG TO THIS BEARS OFFENSE
He is the best quarterback that has been on the Bears roster since 2009, when former general manager Jerry Angelo pulled off a trade with the Denver Broncos to bring him to Chicago. He can make plays with his arm, his legs, and his pure-play athleticism that no other Bears QB can, and not only is he the starter for the remainder of this year (barring injury), he could be here in 2017 as well.
THIS WAS A SMALL GLIMPSE OF WHAT THE 2016 BEARS COULD HAVE BEEN
Imagine a 2016 Chicago Bears season with no injuries... They would have been among the best teams in the NFC, and on Monday night versus the Minnesota Vikings, we saw a little bit of that potential.
The defense played tough, the offense was ignited by Cutler and rookie running back Jordan Howard, and they beat the best team in the NFC North (and arguably the entire National Football Conference)... This is what could have been.
Instead, we get the struggles and challenges that come with a team facing injuries, who has a significant lack of depth across the board... And now have allegedly hired an outside consultant to figure out just what the hell is wrong with this franchise.