The Bears are not a good football team. But they have won two of their first four games, so there must be positives to take from this early portion of the season. Here are four.
Second Half Defense
This coaching staff has clearly displayed the ability to make defensive adjustments at halftime, as the Bears have allowed only 18 total points in the second half and zero touchdowns. This group still needs an injection of talent in coming off-seasons, but Matt Eberflus and Alan Williams are showing they can put a competitive unit on the field with whatever they’re given.
Eddie Jackson’s Return to Form
EJ will be 29 when the all-important 2023 season begins, and many of us believed he would not be part of this new leadership’s plans. But through four games, Jackson has been the team’s best and most consistent defender, rediscovering his ballhawk abilities (3 INTs) and looking determined/aggressive in run support. With Jaquan Brisker looking the part beside him, the Bears look like they have the back of the secondary solidified for the next several years.
The Run Game
Everyone wants to make the blanket statement – “the offense is terrible” – but it’s factually untrue. The Bears have one of the best running games in the league, averaging 5.2 yards per carry and 177.3 yards per game. What they are terrible at is throwing the football and throwing the football is how you score points in the modern NFL. But the Bears are establishing a run-game baseline for the future that will be essential.
The 2022 Draft Class
The Bears did not have a first rounder in the 2022 NFL Draft, but they seem to have found some real players. Brisker is playing like a first rounder. Braxton Jones is showing signs that he can develop into a serious answer at left tackle. Trenton Gill is a terrific punter, delivering his best performance in the conditions in the Meadowlands on Sunday. Dominique Robinson has 1.5 sacks and is showing to be a playmaker.
Two questions remain. Can Velus Jones be worked into this offense post-injury, and can Kyler Gordon recover from a brutal start to his career? But otherwise, this draft class is reason for front office optimism.