Pro Football Focus seems to love to make Chicago Bears fans angry
It seems that Pro Football Focus (PFF) has it out for the Chicago Bears and loves to disrespect them. Too often they leave fan favorites out of rankings and dismiss players who deserve to be recognized. Even Khalil Mack does not seem to get the true recognition he deserves.
Well, PFF is back at it again. This time in their recent rankings of every team’s linebacking group. The ranking does not include EDGE. Without knowing, where do you think the Chicago Bears linebacking group ranks within the league? If I take my Bear Goggles off, I still easily see them as a top-15 team. With my Bear Goggles on, the combination of Roquan Smith and Danny Trevathan should be considered a top-5 combination. Where does PFF have them ranked though?
Let’s look at a few things that stand out. The top unit on the list is the Seattle Seahawks. That group consists of Bobby Wagner and K.J. Wright. I will not disagree with this because Wagner is a complete beast and when healthy, Wright is very underrated by many. This group is followed up by the Dallas Cowboys at number two though. The Cowboys group consists of Jaylon Smith, Sean Lee and youngster Leighton Vander Esch. This is an important group to note and I’ll explain why later.
To continue through, PFF then goes to the Buccaneers, Texans and Colts to round out the top five. The Chicago Bears duo is better than the Texans in my opinion, but not sure I’d anoint them better than the Bucs and Colts. The team that winds up sixth is what really makes me upset with these rankings. The Las Vegas Raiders are ranked sixth on this PFF ranking. Yep, the Raiders who are going to start former Bear Nick Kwiatkoski.
Listen, I like Kwiatkoski but he could not even crack the starting lineup here in Chicago. He has many flaws and although I am glad he’s getting an opportunity to start, I would not count on him as a cog to a top-10 unit. Next to him is another new face for the Raiders. Cory Littleton will pair up with Kwiatkoski and I am confused about how they rank sixth. Littleton cannot stop the run and Kwiatkoski cannot guard the pass. That might sound like a good combination but it is not.
The Chicago Bears should be ranked around here
The Falcons, Vikings, Broncos and 49ers round the rest of the top-10 for PFF. This is about where I would expect to have seen the Chicago unit. Nope. PFF would never do anything like that right? Other teams ahead of them include the Jaguars, Saints, Bills, Titans, Patriots, Cardinals and Chargers. Are we finally at the Chicago Bears in the rankings? Of course not and this is absurd.
PFF has the Lions (19) and Ravens (20) next, then finally the Chicago Bears come in at 21st. Yikes. They clearly put the Bears behind the Lions to make fans angry too. The addition of Jamie Collins is not enough to improve that grouping to be ahead of Chicago. The reasoning seems to be depth, which I agree is an issue, but to be fair, no one really knows how good the backups can be at this point. Plus, every team falls off from their top two guys.
I pointed out Dallas being second-overall for a reason. Some might think that the ranking has to do with Smith being so new to the league or his weird regression year last season. Excuse my bluntness, but that is a bunch of crap. To give Vander Esch the credit but not Smith is complete hypocrisy. Vander-Esch has had a very similar career thus far since being drafted in 2018 with Smith.
None of this will matter of course if Trevathan and Smith come out and play like I know they can in 2020. Health will be a major concern again for Trevathan. I am still hopeful the team adds a more proven backup, but that would not stop me from ranking the inside duo of Smith and Trevathan within the bottom half of the top-10 linebacking units.