“Who are the Chicago Bears?”
“I mean who the hell are they, for real?”
These are the thoughts that I’ve wrestled with all week. As the NFL heads into its 4th week, the Bears sit in a tie with the Green Bay Packers for the lead in the NFC North with an undefeated record of 3-0. Despite this untarnished record, it's still hard to locate the Bears identity through the first three weeks of action and the questions has to be asked…
Are all wins created equal? Let’s take a look.
On the surface, snatching a late comeback win in week one to avoid starting the season in the losing column for the eighth straight year is a huge deal. However, watching a middle-of-the-road Detroit Lions offense that was missing their biggest weapon in wide receiver Kenny Galloday, build a 23-6 lead heading into the 4th quarter leaves a stench that isn’t easily washed away. Even with Mitchell Trubisky’s three 4th quarter touchdowns to erase the deficit, the Lions were a D’Andre Swift dropped touchdown pass away from changing their fate. The Lions pushed them to the brink but a win is a win…right?
On to week two. The Bears started the game clicking on all cylinders versus The New York Football Giants. Not only was the run game going well, Mitchell Trubisky had two more touchdown passes on the way to a 17 point halftime lead. The next thing you know, the Bears failed to score another point after the first half and the game ended in another escape by the skin of your teeth type win. The Saquon Barkley’less (he left in the 1st quarter after tearing his ACL) Giants offense couldn’t score from the Bears red zone as time expired. Charge it as a tough win because as Akiem Hicks so eloquently put it, “2-0 is delicious” and who would argue with him?
Fast forward to last week when the Bears played a winless Atlanta Falcons team. The Falcons defense came in as a certified bottom feeder but even without stud wide receiver Julio Jones (who was a last minute scratch due to injury) the offense is as potent as they come. Seems like a good chance for a shootout right? The Bears would only score 10 points in the first half before Matt Nagy had seen enough of the second overall pick in the 2017 draft and benched Mitch Trubisky in favor of Nick Foles. The Bears would score twenty unanswered points on the way to their 3rd straight victory.
The Bears head into week four with an undefeated record and a chance to start answering some of the unanswered questions that surround them.
Is Nick Foles their guy for the short term?
Does the defense possess the ability to put teams away?
What’s Nick Foles and the Bears offense first test after their first full week of practice together? A 2-1 Indianapolis Colts team that owns the NFL’s top ranked defense that will head into Soldier Field on Sunday.
This is the week we’ll start to see just who this team is and if it’s the right time to broaden expectations.