How have the Chicago Bears pass catchers looked over the first half of the 2018 NFL season?
The halfway point is a good point to look back at the Chicago Bears pass catchers and review their first eight games while protecting their next eight. How has the passing game looked?
Allen Robinson came out on fire early into the season. It was looking like he was going to be one of the big hits of the offseason. However, after 28 targets in the first three games, he has been targeted just 15 times since. Trubisky has been 8-15 targeting the significant offseason addition.
A lot of it is injury related. He has not suited up in either of the past two games with a groin injury after seeing one catch for four yards against the Patriots.
Overall, it seems as though if Robinson can get healthy, he can be a nice addition and a trusted pass catcher for Trubisky. However, to see him come back from his ACL injury and see another injury after some heavy usage, you have to be careful about how heavy his workload is over the second half.
Taylor Gabriel topped his career high in receptions with 37 on Sunday. Yes, that does mean he is on pace to set a career high in receptions with every reception he makes moving forward. He is on pace for 852 yards, which is going to shatter his previous career high of 621. His yards per catch is a bit down from his career number, but his 75% catch rate is an increase from his career high 70%.
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The Bears are getting him the ball closer to the line, and let him do more work with the ball in his hands than he ever has. This has caused him to be active and put up career numbers.
Taylor Gabriel has not only met expectations, but he has also exceeded them.
Anthony Miller is on pace for 38 receptions for 420 yards and six touchdowns. Before the season, Mike Clay of ESPN.com had him projected for 54 receptions for 657 yards and three touchdowns. So, while he has already met his touchdown total, you could say it has been a bit of a slow start for Miller.
This would make a lot of sense considering he missed Week Four, a chance to pad his stats against the poor Buccaneers defense. Miller is playing through a shoulder injury which has held him back as well.
Still, he is coming on. Last week he had a career high in catches and yards after seven targets in back to back weeks with limited success. He leads the team in targets and air yards over the last three weeks. Yes, that has a little to do with Allen Robinson.
Still, this team is trying to get Anthony Miller involved, and after a tough start, he is starting to get on the same page as his quarterback.
Josh Bellamy continues to see the field, even over Kevin White and Javon Wims. It is no surprise to see Bellamy on special teams, but offensive snaps over White and Wims is surprising. Especially because White has shown as a willing blocker this year.
Still, it is tough to get excited about the prospects of White after being inactive last week. Wims has a lot to prove to see the field, so Bellamy has been the winner of the group.
Bellamy: B-, White: D, Wims: C-
Lastly is tight end, Trey Burton. Burton is on pace for 58 receptions for 742 yards and ten touchdowns. Mike Clay had him on pace for 51 receptions, 558 yards, and four touchdowns. Burton is exceeding expectations.
However, it feels like more is going to come from Burton. Remember, Adam Shaheen has been out. Matt Nagy had big plans to use the two together and really test defenses.
Shaheen is the better blocker of the two and is going to move in line. This is only going to open up more in the passing game for Trey Burton. Expect Burton to only improve on the stats that already are exceeding projections.