Chicago Bears: The single, most-positive discovery from the 2020 season

Chicago Bears - Credit: Matt Cashore-USA TODAY Sports
Chicago Bears - Credit: Matt Cashore-USA TODAY Sports /

The Chicago Bears have been lucky to find this important positive from 2020

The Chicago Bears are stuck in a tough spot and no one is to blame but themselves. It has been a combination of poor offensive schemes, untimely play calling, bad quarterback play, even worse offensive line play and some lapses on defense. After a fantastic, not necessarily deserved, 5-1 start to the season, the Chicago Bears dropped six games in a row to find themselves below .500. Now, if the team finds a way to win-out and finish 9-7, the Bears could still not make the playoffs.

Instead, the team is now having to worry about the Arizona Cardinals (and a few other games). If the Cardinals beat the San Francisco 49ers this week and the Los Angeles Rams in Week 17, the Chicago Bears season will come to an end. No matter the outcome, the Chicago Bears have at least discovered one positive from the 2020 season that can carry over to 2021.

Over the last four games, Sam Mustipher has been playing center while Cody Whitehair has been able to kick out to left guard. At right guard, Alex Bars has been the guy. On the outside, Charles Leno has remained at left tackle, while Germain Ifedi has been the main replacement for Bobby Massie. Also over the last four games, the Chicago Bears have rushed for 121, 140, 169 and 199 yards respectively.

This has been because of three main factors, but only one is truly important when it comes to the 2021 season. First, The Bears have only rushed for over 100 yards in the games Mitch Trubisky has started at quarterback. His ability to run has helped keep opposing defenses honest, while Nick Foles lacks the ability to move and makes him an easier target for pass rushers. Trubisky starting is not the one, main positive I am speaking of though.

The second factor has been the change in the offensive scheme. The Chicago Bears went back to what was working at the beginning of the year. This was partly due to Bill Lazor stepping in as a play-caller, but we have to give full credit to the entire coaching staff — yes, even Matt Nagy.

Mitch Trubisky has been lining up under center more and using play action. A newer wrinkle in the more current production has been constant shifts in motion and roll-outs allowing Trubisky to cut the field of play essentially in half. These wrinkles have taken too long in my opinion. The team might be in a better position in the win-loss column had they made these moves sooner, but I digress, this still is not the single, most important thing the team discovered this season.

The Chicago Bears offensive line has come together nicely, leaving a clear path for 2021

Now for the third factor involved lately. The Chicago Bears offensive line has been playing well, and we can directly attest that to the shift on the interior part of the line. With Sam Mustipher playing well at center, Cody Whitehair has been able to play at left guard — and playing extremely well. Alex Bars has been playing solid football at right guard too. This bodes well for the Chicago Bears come 2021.

Next year, the ideal start to the 2021 season would be aligning Sam Mustipher at center, Cody Whitehair at left guard and James Daniels at right guard. This leaves Alex Bars to backup at guard, and even at tackle. This does not mean the team should continue to rely on Charles Leno and Bobby Massie. At least one, if not both should be replaced via free agency and/or the 2021 NFL Draft.

David Montgomery continues to dominate. dark. Next

During a season that has had huge swings of emotion similar to a roller coaster, we should be thrilled to at least know this team has a promising and positive future. As long as the Chicago Bears can find one or two outside tackles to improve upon what looks to be a very formidable force on the interior of the offensive line, this team could have a dominant run game in 2021.

I know, shocking after what has been happening the last few years. This can and honestly must be this team’s identity going forward.