Bears Takeaways: Week 13

Mike DiNovo-USA TODAY Sports
Mike DiNovo-USA TODAY Sports /
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Mike DiNovo-USA TODAY Sports
Mike DiNovo-USA TODAY Sports /

3.) Josh Bellamy is frustrating

After dropping a game-winning touchdown pass last week against the Titans, one would expect Bellamy to show improved focus on catches this week. Instead, he dropped not one, but two deep throws that hit him in the hands. One of which would have been a sure-thing touchdown, while the other would have been a huge gain.

Bellamy did make up for some of the drops with a career-best four catches for 93 yards and an 11-yard run on a reverse. He showed some explosion and smooth route running skill, getting open consistently on a wet field.

Bellamy clearly has the athleticism to be an NFL receiver, but has been inconsistent and looks awkward catching the football. He leaves his feet on catches almost everytime despite not needing to. After three years in the league, Bellamy should have such a simple skill down pat by now.

He is a key special teams player, so should have a spot on the roster regardless of his receiving skills. Though if Bellamy is going to be part of the Bears future at receiver, he needs to improve his ability to catch the ball consistently. Hopefully, the Bears won’t need to start Bellamy again next season.

4.) The Bears pass rush is showing potential 

Perhaps the most impressive part of the Bears victory Sunday was the six sacks by the defense. The play of the Bears front seven has been one of the only bright spots in an otherwise depressing season.

With six sacks on Sunday, the Bears now have 30 as a team which is good for 7th in the NFL. The Bears are also one of only three teams that have three players with six or more sacks: Willie Young (7), Leonard Floyd (7), and Akiem Hicks (6).

The sack total is even more impressive when considering that the Bears are dead last in the league in blitz percentage. They are getting more pressure than most teams despite just almost always rushing only four players.

With a healthy Pernell McPhee added to the mix next year, a full season of NT Eddie Goldman, an offseason of development for Floyd, and the potential addition of another pass rusher in the draft, the Bears could have one of the best pass rushes in the league in 2017.

Mike DiNovo-USA TODAY Sports
Mike DiNovo-USA TODAY Sports /

5.) Akiem Hicks may be the Bears only Pro Bowl player

It’s unlikely that the three-win Bears are going to get any players in the Pro Bowl, but if they have one chance it’s DE Akiem Hicks. He’s been a beast on the d-line for the Bears, both clogging interior running lanes and generating pressure on opposing quarterbacks.

Hicks has six sacks already and is starting to gain national attention after his 10-tackle, 2-sack, and 1-forced-fumble performance against the Niners gained him an NFC Defensive Player of Week award.

HIs two-year, $10M contract looks like an absolute steal for the Bears and the combination of Hicks, Goldman, Floyd, Young, and McPhee gives the Bears a solid foundation to dream on in 2017.

6.) Good to see Leonard Floyd back

It was a scary moment when first-round pick Leonard Floyd was carted off the field back in week 11. It looked like more bad injury luck for the Bears in a season filled with bad breaks. Despite rumors of a serious neck injury, it turned out Floyd suffered just a minor concussion.

He was back on the field last Sunday against the Niners and was back to making explosive plays off the edge. Floyd had two sacks, one for a safety, and could have had two or three more but allowed the speedy Kaepernick to escape.

Floyd has been in the backfield consistently since returning from his first injury this season and with some added strength could start finishing more plays. Floyd has a chance to finish the season with 10+ sacks and has shown the potential to be an annual double-digit sack player. It looks like the Bears finally hit on a first round pick.