I. No Interest in Rebuilding (And No Need)
It’s very easy to get down on an organization when they fail to meet lofty expectations. And expectations could not have been loftier in 2019. (Believe me, I know.)
But fans, and to a lesser extent the media, have to understand the present circumstances. The Bears are playing zero offense not because they lack talent on their roster but because their quarterback can’t play. He can’t run the system. The Bears have essentially sacrificed 2019 for the sake of “developing” their young QB because what other option did they have? The whole of the offensive structure was built around Trubisky. And he failed to deliver.
Allen Robinson can play. Tarik Cohen can play. David Montgomery can play. This offensive line can block this system. Put a veteran quarterback in this lineup and the offense will at least run. Open receivers will be hit. Correct protections will be called. Combine that with a top ten defense and the 2020 Bears are looking at a ten-win season.
II. 4th in Points Allowed With Limited Mack Production
The Bears are one of the best defenses in the league. And that is happening with opponents essentially neutralizing Khalil Mack, their best defender. (They will certainly be looking to add an edge opposite Mack this off-season, as Leonard Floyd has become far more productive as a cover man than a quarterback harasser.) When the Bears start scoring more points, their opponents will be forced into more must-throw scenarios and that is when a player like Mack thrives.
And while the popular belief is Akiem Hicks may never be at full strength again, I’m hearing the Bears expect a full recovery in 2020. Hicks is the team’s second most-feared defender and pass rusher. His absence has made scheming Mack to death possible.
III. The Division Ain’t Going Anywhere
This is not a division with a juggernaut team or a young quarterback that’s going to torment the Bears for the next generation. The Bears are already 2-1 against their rivals this season and would be 3-0 if they could complete a pass on opening night.
Aaron Rodgers will be 36 next season. The Vikings defense had trouble stopping Brandon Allen from doing anything on Sunday and Kirk Cousins melts in front of the Bears defense. The Lions are, well, the Lions. (And I will never join the chorus of fans who celebrate that franchise’s struggles. I hope those fans get one great moment in their lifetimes.)
Competing for championships means getting into the tournament. Getting into the tournament is about winning your division games. The Bears are struggling mightily in 2019. But not in the division.