One quarter of the Chicago Bears 2016 is in the books. After a very rough and ugly 0-3 start the Bears finished the first quarter of the season finally getting into the win column.
The team can only get healthier from here on out (hopefully) and with some winnable games coming up, perhaps the doom and gloom of the first three weeks will soon be behind this team.
What has the team shown through four games that can be seen as key lessons for the rest of the season?
- The lack of pass rush is a serious concern - The Bears enter Week 5 with just six sacks, tied for 24th in the league with bad teams: the Browns, Titans and Cowboys. The Bears haven’t been able to generate any sort of consistent rush and will be looking forward to getting Pernell McPhee back. Five players have one sack each (Willie Young, Akiem Hicks, Cornelius Washington, Danny Trevathan, Sam Acho) but none have really flashed every single game. Perhaps the loss of Lamarr Houston was bigger than expected, perhaps Leonard Floyd isn’t ready yet, but the bottom line is that the Bears need to get after opposing QBs more in order to keep winning.
- Some of the young players might be good - Without Kyle Fuller the secondary, a huge concern entering the season, hasn’t really been torched too badly. Sure Tracy Porter has held his own against some good competition but Jacoby Glenn has held his own and Deiondre Hall has flashed as well. Bryce Callahan might be becoming the team’s best CB. It’s curious as to why Hall hasn’t gotten more chances though.
- The first four weeks have been an extension of the preseason - For better or worse, August carried into September for the 2016 Bears. The offense took until Sunday to look sorted and efficient and the offensive line has improved after a poor start:
I’m sure Lester will cover that more in-depth in Sackwatch later this week. You do read Sackwatch, don’t you?
4. Jordan Howard appears to be the lead back - Was it just one game? Yes. But it was a solid game. Howard was breaking tackles, finishing runs and getting yards after contact, things Jeremy Langford has not flashed yet. Howard has a couple more chances to string together strong performances against bad defenses, so there is a chance he will latch on to the starting job and not let go.
The team is getting better and hopefully will continue to build off their win. The next two games are very winnable, so perhaps the second quarter of the season will start better than the first did.
What are your observations of the Bears after four games?