Chicago Bears: Good/Bad News of Week 1

CHICAGO, IL - SEPTEMBER 10: Tarik Cohen /

Week 1 is in the books, and unfortunately, the Chicago Bears will have to start the 2017 season with yet another loss. The 23-17 defeat to the Atlanta Falcons marks the Bears’ fourth consecutive season-opening loss, with the last win being in 2013. Chicago’s efforts in this week’s game didn’t go unnoticed. The Bears never held a lead against the Falcons, but kept it close throughout the entire game, and actually had a chance of ending the contest with a game-winning drive.

Overall, Chicago proved to be good enough to hang with one of the NFC’s best teams, but still shows that there is lots of room for improvement. There were a lot of things fans could take away from Sunday’s loss, both good and bad. Here’s some of the Bears’ highs and lows of Week 1.


Good News

Tarik Cohen’s Emergence

Kena Krutsinger/Getty Images
Kena Krutsinger/Getty Images /

The biggest bright spot for the Bears was undoubtedly the game by rookie running back Tarik Cohen. The fourth-round draft pick led Chicago in both rushing and receiving in his regular-season debut, and finished the game with 113 yards from scrimmage. Cohen also scored his first career touchdown on a 19-yard reception from quarterback Mike Glennon. Cohen averaged 8.7 yards per touch on offense, and even showed some flash as a punt returner.

The even better news is that Cohen will be a great complement to starting running back Jordan Howard. With Howard being one of the league’s leading rushers last year, and Cohen’s playmaking ability, the two have the potential to be one of the best one-two backfield combos in the NFL.

Akiem Hicks Looks Like He’s Worth Every Penny

Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images
Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images /

The day before the season opener, the Bears signed defensive end Akiem Hicks to a four-year, $48 million contract extension, with $30 million guaranteed. Hicks followed up his signing with a dominant game. The six-year veteran recorded three tackles and two sacks versus the Falcons. If this game is any indication, Hicks could easily surpass his career-high numbers from last season and be the first Bears defensive player to make the Pro Bowl since 2013 (Tim Jennings).

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Bad News

Kevin White’s Health Continues to Fail

Frederick Breedon/Getty Images
Frederick Breedon/Getty Images /

When wide receiver Cameron Meredith went down for the season with a torn ACL, a lot of weight was put on the shoulders of Kevin White to be the Bears’ No. 1 receiver in 2017. Well, it appears that the weight put on him was too much (so to speak). White left the game in the fourth quarter with a shoulder injury. After the game, it was assumed that White broke his collarbone, and may have to have season-ending surgery. This could possibly mark the third consecutive season that White has been sidelined for an entire year. With this loss, the Bears’ passing game could be the one thing that will hold back the offense, and put much pressure on the running game. Unless someone like Kendall Wright steps up, this aerial attack may struggle mightily.

Secondary Still Needs Time To Gel

David Banks/Getty Images
David Banks/Getty Images /

It appeared that Falcons wide receiver Julio Jones was on his way to having a field day against the Bears’ secondary. Jones went into the locker room at halftime with four catches for 66 yards receiving. Chicago’s defensive backs did find a way to contain the All-Pro wideout, and held Jones to zero receptions in the second half. Unfortunately, the last line of defense broke down elsewhere, allowing an 88-yard touchdown catch-and-run by tight end Austin Hooper. In addition, there was a lot of missed tackles from the secondary. Hopefully, the Bears’ defensive backs can get on the same page very soon, or this will be another long season.