The Chicago Bears had a very surprising year in the 2018-2019 season, which unfortunately was cut short by a kick that was blocked by Philadelphia Eagle Treyvon Hester. Going into the season, I would say the Bears were definitely not looking like a 12-4 team, let alone NFC North champions.
On Sep. 1, 2018 the Chicago Bears season was changed for the better as they acquired one of the best defenders in the league, Khalil Mack. He signed a record six-year 141 million dollar contract. The Bears defense benefited greatly off of this pick up as Mack propelled the Bears to a top-three defense.
While the defense was fantastic for the Bears, it was the offense that did not perform well. Led by second year quarterback Mitchell Trubisky, the Bears offense had a total of 3,223 passing yards on the season with 24 touchdowns and 12 interceptions. Trubisky had a below average season with only a two-to-one touchdown to interception ratio that wasn’t going to get the job done if the Bears had hoped to go deep into the playoffs in the future. Meanwhile, a bright spot of this team were the two running backs: Jordan Howard and Tarik Cohen.
Howard was a consistent back averaging about three yards per carry, equating 935 rushing yards on the year. Not to mention, he made nine touchdowns during the regular season as well.
Cohen was an all-round player who could do everything from having 444 rushing yards to averaging 4.5 yards per carry. He was also a receiving threat that first year head coach Matt Nagy could have used either lined up out wide or out of the backfield, finishing with 725 receiving yards, which was second on the team. Cohen is headed to the Pro-Bowl as a return specialist, as he had 411 punt return yards.
Again, the offense could have performed better in most areas, but overall, they were a good enough offense with a lot of potential going forward.
The defense, on the other hand, was spectacular. Mack and Akiem Hicks led the charge on the defensive line, averaging three sacks a game for the team. The secondary also had a fantastic year as players like Eddie Jackson, Kyle Fuller and Adrian Amos helped lead the team to to a league-leading 27 interceptions. The linebacker corps, led by first round pick Roquan Smith, helped stuff the running attack and did a great job covering slot receivers, tight ends and running backs out of the backfield.
However, the biggest problem with the Bears this season was the kicking done by Cody Parkey. Parkey missed three of his 45 point after attempts this season. He also is only kicking 76.7 percent for all field goals. He was 70 percent from 30-39 yards, 75 percent from 40-49 yards, and one for two on 50+ yard attempts. These kicking numbers are awful and could definitely be improved upon by signing a new kicker. One kicker in the running is former Bear Robbie Gould, but that conversation is for another time.
Overall, the Bears definitely surprised their Chicago fans and seem to have a very bright future. The Bears schedule for the 2019-2020 season has been released and it seems like the hardest in the NFL by far, with them playing a total of six different teams that made the playoffs this year. The Bears were a great team this year with hopefully an even brighter future ahead.