gOct 12, 2014; Atlanta, GA, USA; Chicago Bears wide receiver Alshon Jeffery (17) runs after a catch as Atlanta Falcons cornerback Josh Wilson (26) pursues in the fourth quarter of their game at Georgia Dome. The Bears won 27-14. Mandatory Credit: Jason Getz-USA TODAY Sports
Jermon Bushrod needs to get healthy soon. I think Michael Ola has performed admirably in Bushrod’s absence, but his job is about to get a lot harder. The Bears’ next three opponents are the Dolphins, Patriots, and Packers. All three of those teams have elite pass rushers in Cameron Wake, Chandler Jones, and Clay Mathews respectively. That is a veritable murderer’s row, and you can’t tell me that they aren’t licking their chops at the chance to go against Ola. Even if Bushrod makes it back this week, he probably won’t be at 100%. And even a fully healthy Bushrod would have his hands full with those three guys.
Matt Forte is getting too many touches. I’ll admit, this one is nitpicking. Forte keeps himself in impeccable shape, and has been Chicago’s workhorse since they drafted him in the second round of the 2008 NFL Draft without much injury concern. But all those carries have to catch up to him sometime, don’t they? Forte is on pace for a whopping 387 touches this year, and not all of those are carries. Forte has 46 catches on the season. By comparison, Brandon Marshall and Alshon Jeffery have 56 combined. Ka’Deem Carey might be able to shoulder the load if Forte were to miss some time, but having a fourth round rookie as your featured back is less than ideal. I’d like to see Carey get worked in more in the coming weeks. Not only would that mitigate the wear and tear on Forte, but it would serve to get the youngster ready in case of an injury.
The special teams unit is the Achilles’ heel of this team. I blame Joe DeCamillis more than the players at this point. I’m not usually one to pile on the coaching staff when a team is losing, but this is getting ridiculous. The Bears’ special teams have racked up penalties in every game (really bad ones too), failed to make positive plays of any sort, and allowed an extra point to be blocked this week. An extra point? Really?! Aside from a fairly impressive showing from rookie punter Pat O’Donnell and the always solid Robbie Gould, this unit has been a complete disaster. If they don’t improve soon, they could end up costing the Bears a playoff spot by the end of the season.
There you have it Bears fans. Good but not great. It was an impressive victory over the Falcons, but this team has a lot of questions to answer before I’m ready to declare them anywhere near elite. Bear Down, but keep it balanced…