When the schedule was announced in the spring, the week-six bye was thought to be way too early for the Chicago Bears, but now that it has come and gone it appears to have come at the perfect time.
The Bears have some injured players that needed the extra time to heal, namely quarterback Mitchell Trubisky, wide out Taylor Gabriel, and defensive lineman Bilal Nichols and Akiem Hicks. Trubisky is close to returning after injuring his left (non-throwing shoulder) on September 29 and Gabriel Tweeted that he’ll be back this week. Head coach Matt Nagy said a week ago that Nichols is very close to returning from his week-two broken hand, and his return will be big for a defensive line that is expected to be without Hicks for a while following his elbow injury on October 6.
But most importantly, the bye has allowed head coach Nagy and his coaching staff to self scout to find out why the offense has been struggling. Time will tell if the post-bye adjustments worked, but for now they decided to shut down right guard Kyle Long after his hip injury prevented him from playing at an acceptable level. Long is just one fifth of an offensive line that hasn’t played up to par, but if they can get that unit going the entire offense will fall into line.
And the Bears need their offense to fall into line to complement their championship-level defense, which can’t carry this team to the postseason alone.
If the Bears are able to get things back on track offensively then we’ll have to assume one of the two players listed below will have been the catalyst. And that leads me back to the point of this article; who will be the Bears post-bye MVP?
But it’s not all about the offense in Chicago, so here are my candidates (two on offense and two on defense) for post-bye MVP.
Mitchell Trubisky - It’s still up in the air whether or not he plays this week, but he’s close to returning and the Bears need a return to the confident quarterback that played in the second half a year ago.
David Montgomery - Nagy talked about knowing what has ailed their run game last week, and if he has managed to fix it during the time off, we should finally see Montgomery play up to his potential.
Khalil Mack - Any discussion with the words “MVP” and “Bears” in it has to include their relentless pass rusher. Mack has the ability to take over games and they’ll need him to do that down the stretch in 2019.
Eddie Jackson - Jackson has been quiet through five games, but his ball hawking instincts could show up big for the Bears soon.
If the Bears can get their championship aspirations back on track, which of these four players will be the biggest reason why?
Is there another player you think could lead the Bears on a second half push?
Or maybe you think a position group (like the o-line) will be the reason the Bears go on a run.
Who is your pick — or picks — for Bears post-bye MVP?