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Grades (and Haikus!) For the NFC North’s Top Team at the Quarter Mark

| October 3rd, 2018

Joe Camporeale – USA TODAY Sports

Data is going to be writing a series of pieces breaking down what the Bears have been numerically/statistically through the first quarter of the season, as only he can. So this will just be CliffsNotes stock taking for now. With haikus!


Offense

Blurb: Through three games, the offense was incoherently constructed and impotently executed. Then they delivered the finest offensive performance in this organization’s history against the Tampa Bay Bucs. They have a solid offensive line and a terrific collection of play-making weapons. It just took a month for it all to come together.

Key Stat: Mitch Trubisky’s QB line: 70% completion, 945 yards, 8 TD, 3 INT, 101.6 rating.

Grade: I would have given this unit an F before Sunday’s performance so I can’t ignore those games. But the arrow is decidedly pointing up. C+

Haiku:

Six touchdown passes.

The ghost of Johnny Lujack

Recedes into dark


Defense

Blurb: Patrick Mahomes has the gaudiest stat line in the league but Khalil Mack has been every bit the NFL’s MVP. No player has made a larger impact on the performance of their team. Mack has made every single player on this unit better and they are the league’s top defense. Lead in sacks. Second in picks. Right at the top of every valuable statistical category.

Key Stat: The Bears had 8 interceptions in 2017. They have 8 through four games of 2018.

Grade: There is no drama. There is no debate. A+

Haiku:

There goes Khalil Mack,

Flying ’round the right tackle

Ball! Ball! Ball! Ball! Ball!


Special Teams

Blurb: Cody Parkey is a solid upgrade but he’s not really been tested in a big moment. Pat O’Donnell is having a solid year punting the football. The return game has provided little but the units have avoided the kinds of penalties that can bury the offense. They’ve covered kicks well, with Sherrick McManis mounting a Pro Bowl-caliber campaign.

Key Stat: Tarik Cohen’s 12.8 yard punt return average actually ranks fifth in the NFL.

Grade: Solidly unspectacular. B

Haiku:

This is a haiku

A haiku about specials

What am I doing?


Coaching

Blurb:¬†Vic Fangio has pushed all the right buttons on defense (they are very good buttons) and Chris Tabor has led sturdy special teams units. Matt Nagy, offensive play caller, didn’t deliver a quality start until his fourth attempt but Nagy the head coach has been a breath of fresh air, especially considering who he replaced.

Key Stat: Turnover differential: +6.

Grade: Overall this has been a B+ coaching staff, getting there because of the points symphony Matt Nagy conducted against the Bucs.

Haiku:

Forty years of age,

Visor on his barren dome

Don’t call him Matthew.

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