Three players who will drastically change the Chicago Bears’ 2018 season

Chicago Bears (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)
Chicago Bears (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images) /
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Despite a wild loss, the Chicago Bears look like a force to be reckoned with in 2018; improvement from these players will only make them more fearsome.

The Chicago Bears have seen some major jumps in productivity by both newcomers and returning players. We’ve seen second-year player, Eddie Jackson, establish himself as one of the best young safeties in the league, while 24-year-old Eddie Goldman has been considered elite at his position as well.

Not much more needs to be said about what Khalil Mack has added to the team, but other newcomer Aaron Lynch has also provided some unexpected good play. While these players will look to build upon strong starts, there are a few teammates who, if they play up to their respective potentials, will drastically change the trajectory of this season.

While quarterback Mitch Trubisky could easily be slotted as the number one factor as to how far this team can go, his name will be left off this list because that’s fairly obvious.

Here are three players that will bolster this unit if they start to produce at a high level:

CHICAGO, IL - OCTOBER 22: Leonard Floyd #94 of the Chicago Bears walks off of the field after the Bears defeated the Carolina Panthers 17-3 at Soldier Field on October 22, 2017 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Wesley Hitt/Getty Images)
CHICAGO, IL – OCTOBER 22: Leonard Floyd #94 of the Chicago Bears. (Photo by Wesley Hitt/Getty Images) /

1. Leonard Floyd

Leonard Floyd has not played poorly, let’s get that out of the way first. Everyone sees zero sacks in the stat column and perceives his play as underwhelming. While it is true that Floyd needs to start getting to the quarterback more and body flip opposing players less, the main reason he isn’t having that type of specific production is more scheme than lackluster play.

Rarely do the Chicago Bears blitz, so when you see four or five men appearing to rush the quarterback, their individual assignments may say otherwise. Defensive Coordinator Vic Fangio has Floyd in pass coverage pretty often, as his athleticism allows for him to cover a range of players.

Floyd is able to take on other roles like pass coverage and run support duty due to a plethora of pass rush talent around him. Add into the mix that Floyd is recovering from both a hand AND knee injury (friendly fire) and it makes sense why the former first-round choice of the Bears is off to a slow start.

Imagine this though. This upcoming week against the Patriots, or perhaps the following week against the Jets, Floyd will be fully healthy. That means no cast inhibiting the use of his hands and a fully healthy lower body, bolstering his already immense athleticism.

Khalil Mack and Akiem Hicks will continue to grow on the opposite side of the line, making Floyd’s job easier than it has been since he arrived in Chicago. When he is finally able to come into form towards the middle of the season, opposing offenses are going to have a real dilemma.

Essentially, if Floyd can become the pass rushing force we expect him to be, Chicago will unequivocally have the best pass rush in the league. That goes a long way.