It’s been a long offseason, and I’ve covered a lot of ground with a variety of articles. Now that the 2019 season is fast approaching, I’m pretty much finished writing new content, but since I have a hard time remembering everything I’ve researched and shared on here, I thought it might be helpful to re-visit what we learned and see how it relates to the Bears in 2019.
I’m going to try and highlight the most relevant stuff in 1 sentence per article, grouped together by topic. Think of it like a TL;DR for the offseason.
- Trubisky’s playing approach shifted as the season went along, but his overall performance in year 2 puts him in good historical company.
- Trubisky was really good on short stuff in 2018, but really bad throwing the long ball. Also an accompanying film study by Andrew Link.
- Speaking of being bad at the deep ball, nearly half of Trubisky’s 2018 interceptions came from missing open receivers on deep throws.
- These misses also accounted for a number of interceptions against zone defense, but otherwise Trubisky was really good against zone in 2018. Plus, the Bears were too reliant on curls and go routes.
- The good news is that history suggests Trubisky will likely throw the deep ball better in 2019 than he did in 2018. Also an accompanying film study by Andrew Link.
- One area of concern for Trubisky is that he really struggled against average or better defenses in 2018.
- Chicago’s offense struggled to produce explosive plays – which are crucial to an offense’s overall success – in 2018, largely due to Jordan Howard.
- Free agent signee Mike Davis is an excellent fit for Chicago’s inside zone, but he also struggles to produce explosive plays.
- Third round draft pick David Montgomery, on the other hand, had no problems being explosive in college, and Kareem Hunt comparisons highlight just how good of a fit he is for this offense.
- The offense was at its best when Tarik Cohen was more involved.
- Anthony Miller’s rookie efficiency metrics suggest quite strongly that he’s going to be a high quality NFL receiver.
- Assuming Trubisky’s deep ball does improve like expected, Anthony Miller (and to a lesser extent Allen Robinson) should be the main beneficiary (with film analysis assist from Robert Schmitz).
- Allen Robinson is a beast on slants and go routes, Taylor Gabriel saw too many targets on screens, and more route-specific information.
- If Chicago’s offense makes the typical jump that Andy Reid offenses see in year 2, it will be a top 10 unit in 2019.
- The offense was really, really good in the ~200 snaps that their starting OL were on the field together in 2018.
- Chicago’s 2018 offense was run-heavy on 1st down, which helped them stay ahead of the chains but limited their ability to produce explosive plays and score points.
- The rushing attack was focused mainly between the tackles, but they were not very effective there.
- The offense primarily utilized sets with 3 WRs, but was most effective in 2 RB or 2 TE looks.
- Explosive plays are really important for winning games, and there are reasons to think the Bears’ offense should be more explosive in 2019 than it was in 2018.
- New nickelback Buster Skrine is a downgrade from Bryce Callahan, but his coverage stats actually hold up pretty well against other nickelbacks from around the NFL.
- Chicago’s 2018 defense was really, really good and didn’t have an obvious weakness.
- History suggests they likely won’t be as historically good again, but they’re also very likely to remain among the NFL’s best.
- Akiem Hicks and Eddie Goldman are beasts against the run, Roquan Smith is an all-around stud, and more player-specific defensive success stats.
- Teams keep throwing at Kyle Fuller, but with little success, Prince Amukamara is really good in press coverage, and more player-specific coverage stats.
- Chicago’s 2019 schedule will almost certainly be harder than 2018’s was, but we have no clue how difficult it actually will actually end up being.
- Most teams who make a huge jump in wins fall back to Earth a bit the next season, but the Bears fit the mold of the teams who buck that trend.
- Advanced statistics suggest that the Bears were really good, not lucky, in 2018, which means they’re not super likely to suffer significant regression in 2019.
- No team is perfect, though, so here are some reasons why the Bears might be worse than expected. And here are some more, because Jeff split it into two parts for offseason filler.