This season, the offense was once again the weakness of the Chicago Bears. Their impressive run at the end of the season against bad defenses proved to be a mirage, as they managed just 9 points in their sole playoff game against the Saints. Here are the end of season offensive grades for the Chicago Bears.
Midseason grade: D+
Nick Foles got his first start in Week 4 and his last start in Week 10. Foles was extremely inefficient and was replaced by Trubisky, for good reason. Once Trubisky took over, he played surprisingly well. The offense put up 181 points in six games, albeit against mostly bad teams.
The offense truly looked alive, like it had some potential under Trubisky. However, the Bears playoff game brought them back down to earth.
Against the Saints, the Bears scored just nine points. Their only touchdown came in garbage time, when the Saints weren’t really trying. And then again, the touchdown came off of a bad pass by Trubisky that was only caught because of a superb catch by Jimmy Graham.
Despite putting up good numbers against bad teams, the Bears offense did not improve much over the last half of the season, at least not when it counted. Their final game just proved that if Foles and Trubisky are the two options at quarterback next year, Chicago’s offense will once again struggle.
Running back: B+
Midseason grade: C+
David Montgomery showed his special talent at the end of the year. Through the first half of the season, Chicago’s offensive line was disastrous and therefore, Montgomery was given no room to run. As the season went on, however, the offensive line improved and the young running back showed what he is capable of.
He totaled 824 yards from scrimmage and 8 touchdowns in the last six games of the regular season. Montgomery proved to be not only a workhouse back, but someone who was effective in the passing game.
After Montgomery, Chicago’s running back room was lacking. Return specialist Cordarrelle Patterson took the second most snaps, with Ryan Nall and Artavis Pierce just getting a couple of snaps per game. Neither Patterson, Nall or Pierce were anything special in that role.
Through the first half of the season, David Montgomery seemed like he was ready to break out if he just had the chance. That chance came to him and he played very well, emerging as one of the top young running backs in the NFL. His performance alone raises the Bears running back grade to a B+.
Wide receiver and tight end: B+
Midseason grade: B
Chicago’s receiving group, led by Allen Robinson, did some good things and some bad things throughout the year. There were costly mistakes, like Javon Wims dropping a ball in the end zone in the playoffs or Anthony Miller getting ejected in that same game. However, there were some bright spots, mostly from Bears rookies and Allen Robinson.
Alongside Chicago’s scoring burst, rookie wide receiver Darnell Mooney and rookie tight end Cole Kmet emerged as difference makers. Mooney, a fifth-round pick out of Tulane, quickly overtook Anthony Miller as the second wide receiver in Chicago. He proved that he belonged, dropping only 1 pass while totaling 61 catches on 98 targets. Unfortunately, Mooney got hurt in Week 17 and was sidelined for the playoff game against the Saints.
Cole Kmet also got more touches as the season went on. He had a higher percentage of snaps than Chicago’s veteran tight end Jimmy Graham through the last half of the season. Kmet impressed with his aggressiveness, blocking ability and catching.
Allen Robinson, as expected, was outstanding throughout the whole season. He was quite possibly the most valuable player for the Bears this season, ranking fourth in wins above replacement among all NFL wide receivers. He led the NFL in contested catches and dropped less than 2% of passes thrown to him. Robinson for years has been Chicago’s best player on offense, and he showed it in the 2020 NFL Season.
Beyond Robinson, Kmet, Mooney and Jimmy Graham, the Bears receiving corps was pretty pitiful. However, these four players and the potential that Kmet and Mooney displayed in the last half of the season raised the Bears wide receiver and tight end grade to a B+.
Offensive line: C+
Midseason grade: F
The biggest improvement for Chicago’s offense in the latter half of the season was the offensive line. The group began the season miserably, unable to find a rotation that worked. By Week 9, however, they found the combination that worked best – Charles Leno, Cody Whitehair, Sam Mustipher, Alex Bars and Germain Ifedi.
For some reason, this group clicked and the offense saw much improvement because of it. The running game and passing game started to improve as they were pressured less and able to find more gaps in the line. The offensive line certainly contributed to Chicago’s heightened scoring.
The interior of the offensive line was by far the most productive. Leno and Ifedi were still basically turnstiles when forced to go up against good pass rushers. The Bears should undoubtedly look for replacements for those two offensive tackles. However, Chicago seems to have found a good young core in the interior with Cody Whitehair, Sam Mustipher, James Daniels and Alex Bars off the bench.
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