Midseason Review: Chicago Bears defensive end Akiem Hicks

CHICAGO, IL - OCTOBER 22: Akiem Hicks
CHICAGO, IL - OCTOBER 22: Akiem Hicks /

Has Chicago Bears defensive end Akiem Hicks met his preseason expectations?

With the Chicago Bear at a bye week halfway through the year, it is a great time to reflect on the first half. Using a random number a generator, we will pick a group of players over the next two weeks and see whether or not they have met preseason expectations to date, and whether or not they can hit those expectations in the second half of the year. Today, we look at Akiem Hicks.

Preseason Expectations

Hicks was coming off of a career-high statistically in 2016. After a strong preseason, the Bears made sure to sign him to an extension so that he did not enter the year a free agent. You could start to get the sense that the expectations around the building, media and fan base were for a big year out of Hicks.

Through Eight Weeks

Even the finest of optimist has to be impressed with what Akiem Hicks put on the field through the first eight weeks. Hicks is truly on a pace to be an All-Pro performer. He has seven sacks this year, which already ties a career high. He has changed the outlook of this defense completely and has been the MVP on the team through eight weeks.

Next: Midseason Review: Jonathan Bullard

Second half outlook

The expectations should now be for Hicks to go out there and complete his All-Pro season. What Hicks is doing is real. He is winning with pure strength and power and has a knack for getting into the backfield. Eddie Goldman next to him clogging lanes has been amazing and it has given him the chance to break free in space and make plays in the backfield. Hicks has made it pay off, and there are no signs of slowing down.