This was not the start the Bears expected for a season of high expectations.
Their much-hyped season opener against the Packers was a thudding 10-3 loss that raised a lot of questions about their future. The defense was outstanding, as always, but Mitch Trubisky and the offense sputtered constantly. The Bears looked like a team that everything except a quarterback, the most important position on the field.
As the Bears move toward their Week 2 game at Denver, a scary one against former defensive coordinator Vic Fangio, Sun-Times beat writer Jason Lieser analyzes some key issues:
The rest of Mitch Trubisky’s season will be...
Good enough to get to the playoffs. But if they’re going to make a deep run, he has to take a big step forward. The one thing Trubisky has proven so far is that he’s not a total disaster, so he’s typically going to play better than he did in the opener. Look for modest improvement over the next four games.
Which of the top performers from the opener is headed for a huge season?
Outside linebacker Leonard Floyd. He sacked Rodgers twice, and one of those came on a play in which Khalil Mack just missed him. “Khalil gave it to me, honestly,” Floyd said. “He missed a tackle, and I was right there to clean it up. I sure appreciate him for it.” Floyd is going to get a lot of those with Mack on the field, and it’ll be a big season if he stays healthy.
How’s the kicker situation?
More complicated than it has to be, which is typical. If the Bears ever want kicking to become normal again, they must start acting normal about it. Matt Nagy hinted he wasn’t going to test Piñeiro’s limits, then bypassed a 51-yarder because he liked his chances better going for it on fourth-and-10. Just treat him like any other kicker in the league and he’ll be fine.
What’s the Bears’ biggest non-Trubisky concern?
Tight end. This team badly needs Trey Burton back.
Do you still think of the Bears as a Super Bowl contender?
Lieser: Yes. While there’s plenty to pick apart from the opener, Nagy is correct in emphasizing perspective. The Bears still have a world-class defense and a lot of time to straighten out the offense.