All is well in the Windy City as the Chicago Bears hold a 4-1 record—their best start since the 2012 season. In one of the more unique first quarter starts that we’ve seen in quite some time, the team owns a +5 point differential. All of the games this season have come within one possession with the the lone loss being a 19-11 defeat at the hands of the Indianapolis Colts. The Bears have played with fire, in a sense, in that the season could’ve flip flopped if a few more factors weren’t in their favor. With the first portion of the season finalized, there are many aspects that the team could improve on in order to produce more comfortable wins.
Stick With Nick Foles As Starting QB
Coming into the season, there was believed to be a training camp battle between Mitchell Trubisky and Nick Foles, but it was reasonable to think that with a shortened offseason and limited action on the field that the franchise would do everything in its power to give the former No. 2 overall pick his last chance to show that he can be the guy that they thought he could be after selecting him.
That proved to not be the case, as Trubisky was benched in Week 3 and Foles took over as the official starter. After losing to Indianapolis, Foles orchestrated a comeback victory over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in Week 5—the duel against Tom Brady wasn’t foreign territory for Foles, as he led the Philadelphia Eagles to a legendary win over him during Super Bowl LII. With both in new uniforms now and the stakes of the game being much less, Foles still came out on the winning end. Off to one of the worst starts that some had ever seen to a game, he finished strong and proved to the team that he was the best option moving forward.
Get Darnell Mooney More Involved
Outside of Allen Robinson, who’s clearly the franchise's best player on offense, the team has discovered a late-round gem in fifth-round pick Darnell Mooney. The former Tulane product has shown that he’s able to easily separate within routes and he also has reliable hands in contested situations. Another example of his quick transition to the next level was during the first play of the second quarter against the Buccaneers where he created a considerable amount of separation, but Foles simply missed him on a bad throw down the right sideline that would’ve been a walk in touchdown to cut the lead to 10-7.
A team that’s still searching for a reliable No. 2 option, Mooney’s emergence has a chance to help the team significantly, but him averaging only five targets a game is a number that must increase. With head coach Matt Nagy as the team's play-caller, he may remain a bit hesitant about force-feeding a rookie, but Mooney is one that could help provide more explosive plays for the unit moving forward.
Get David Montgomery In Rhythm
Following his selection in the third round of the 2019 NFL Draft, there was a lot of excitement about the former Iowa State rusher. A somewhat encouraging rookie season led to higher expectations for his second year, but Montgomery is once again off to a slow start. Averaging only 12.6 carries per game and a disappointing 3.9 yards per carry, the offense has failed to get Montgomery in rhythm. Inconsistency under center and mix and match schematics from Nagy has resulted in Montgomery becoming a non-factor in the offense.
Through five games, he has only recorded only 247 yards and some of that is without Tarik Cohen, who’s sidelined for the rest of the season with a torn ACL. Now as the focal point of the rushing attack, the team must somehow figure out to get the ball in Montgomery’s hands more often in order for him to flourish in the offense. His best outing of the season came during a 16-carry, 82-yard performance in Week 2 against the New York Giants, but since that point, he hasn’t sniffed more than 50 yards rushing in three consecutive weeks.