Just like last year, the Chicago Bears have won three straight games after a disappointing season opening loss to the Green Bay Packers. And just like last year, Chicago’s defense is leading the way while the offense struggles to find its identity. They’ll need to work with veteran backup Chase Daniel at quarterback for the next few weeks while Mitchell Trubisky rehabs his left shoulder injury, so we could be in for some more rocky performances by the offense. Then again, Daniel could bring a veteran calm to the unit and help them settle in.
The Bears face the Oakland Raiders in London this Sunday, then have their bye before traveling to play the New Orleans Saints (without QB Drew Brees) on October 20, so with a bad defenses up next then a week off to regroup, the offense could find a rhythm.
Let’s check around the NFL Power Rankings to see how the “experts” rank the 3-1 Bears.
NFL.com has the Bears up 3 spots to number 5.
What an incredible display by the Bears’ defense, which absolutely suffocated a talented Vikings offense in a decisive 16-6 win at Soldier Field. Chicago was in complete control of the line of scrimmage and lived in the Minnesota backfield, making life hell for an overwhelmed Kirk Cousins, who was sacked six times. Most impressive? The Bears dominated their division rival on a day when they were missing five starters and lost their quarterback on the first drive of the game. Mitch Trubisky suffered a left shoulder injury and is doubtful for this Sunday’s game against the Raiders in London. Backup Chase Daniel was an ideal hold-the-fort guy against the Vikings; the question is whether the veteran would be able to remain at that level over an extended stretch. The Bears are talented enough that they don’t need superstar play at quarterback to win. Trubisky or Daniel just needs to make enough plays ... then get out of the way.
ESPN has the Bears at 9, up from 14 a week ago.
FPI chance to make the playoffs: 49.8%
How to increase their playoff chances: Continued offensive efficiency. The Bears have a Super Bowl defense and a fairly reliable kicker in Eddy Pineiro (8-of-9 on field goal attempts), but the offense is the biggest question mark. Chicago’s offense -- despite being without starting quarterback Mitchell Trubisky for all but six plays -- played well against the Vikings and dominated time of possession (35:27 to 24:33). The Bears will be postseason-bound if the offense plays smart, turnover-free football as it did versus Minnesota. -- Jeff Dickerson
Chicago is up 3 spots to 10 according to CBS Sports.
Chase Daniel did some good things replacing the injured Mitch Trubisky. But that victory over the Vikings was about the defense - as usual.
Sports Illustrated has it like this.
9. CHICAGO BEARS (3-1)
Previous rank: 17
Points in poll: 241
Highest-place vote: 7 (2 voters)
Lowest-place vote: 10 (4 voters)
Last week’s result: Beat Minnestoa, 16-6
This week: at Oakland
Yes, the defense is a terror, but it won’t matter if the Bears can’t score—which means Eddy Piñeiro might end up Chicago’s offensive MVP.
Doug Farrar of the Touchdown Wire has the Bears up to 4 from 8 a week ago.
Nobody in their right mind wants a player to get hurt, but is there any doubt that the Bears have a better chance of going as far as they can with backup Chase Daniel as opposed to Mitchell Trubisky? The third-year starter suffered a dislocated left shoulder and slight labrum tear in Chicago’s win over the Vikings, and it was Daniel who looked far more comfortable and confident when it came to running the offense and reading the Vikings’ defensive intentions. It’s not that Daniel is about to transform into a top-10 quarterback — he’s a journeyman who’s never attempted more than 76 passes in a season — but this game gave a glimpse of what this Bears team could be with a decent quarterback attached to its insanely effective defense. Daniel will start against the Raiders next Sunday in London, then there’s a bye, then the Saints’ opportunistic defense comes to Soldier Field. Head coach Matt Nagy has an interesting decision to make.
The USA Today has the Bears up one spot to 9th.
Backup QB Chase Daniel lacks Mitch Trubisky’s athleticism, but his command of offense may actually make this surging club more dangerous.
Here’s how Yahoo Sports has it this week.
8. Chicago Bears (3-1, LW: 11)
It’s a strange conversation to have, but the Bears seemed better off with Mitchell Trubisky out and Chase Daniel in. Yahoo Sports’ Kevin Kaduk wrote about the odd dynamic from Soldier Field on Sunday. The Bears haven’t ruled out Trubisky for this week with a left shoulder injury. Whether it’s Trubisky or Daniel, this whole situation has the potential to get really messy.