Work remains, but Bears arrow pointing up

It wasn’t pretty or convincing, but the Chicago Bears 24-17 victory over the Seattle Seahawks Monday night at Soldier Field did make a statement.

For the first time since 2013, Chicago won a home opener, combining a fast start and a closing finish to hold off a feisty and injury-ravaged Seahawks unit. Bears squads of recent years likely would have faded after two first-half interceptions and an uneven offensive performance.

But bolstered by an aggressive defensive front seven and opportunistic secondary, the Bears made enough plays, the kind of game-changing plays like Prince Amukamara’s pick six that effectively ended the contest. READ MORE

Bears-Packers: tale of the tape

When the Chicago Bears and Green Bay Packers renew the NFL’s oldest rivalry Sunday night at Lambeau Field, the highly anticipated game features several notable “firsts” and adds some historical footnotes to the annual matchup, first played in 1921.

Among the “firsts” from a Bears perspective, head coach Matt Nagy, OLB Khalil Mack, ILB Roquan Smith, WR’s Allen Robinson and Taylor Gabriel, along with TE Trey Burton make their Chicago debuts. Nagy hails from the Andy Reid coaching tree and hopes to reinvigorate a Bears offense directed by second-year man Mitch Trubisky. Nagy’s ability to become a “quarterback whisperer” and help Trubisky reach his potential is one of the major subplots of the Bears 2018 season.

Meanwhile, Mack joins Chicago after last weekend’s blockbuster trade with Oakland which saw the Bears deal two first-round draft picks and some additional compensation for the three-time Pro Bowl rusher.

Smith, the Bears first-round draft choice in April,  should see his first action in navy blue and orange following a 29-day training camp holdout.

Robinson, Gabriel, and Burton were signed in free agency to bolster Chicago’s offensive weapons arsenal. READ MORE

Mack acquisition raises Bears expectations

 

Khalil Mack OLB Buffalo

Photo by Paul Hokanson

Make no doubt about it, the Chicago Bears bold move to acquire perennial Pro Bowl pass rusher Khalil Mack from the Oakland Raiders and subsequent record-setting contract moves the needle significantly upward in terms of expectations.

By leveraging draft capital over the next two seasons, Bears General Manager Ryan Pace sought to shore up arguably the weakest position in Chicago’s starting 22. It’s a welcome risk from any organization that has traditionally shied away from such maneuvers. With the club’s recent draft history, and in general with the NFL as a whole, there’s no guarantee future first-rounders will have nearly the impact that Mack will have. Nearly 40% of first-rounders are out of the league within five years, a sobering thought for many fans and franchises. READ MORE