Good: Izzy - Israel Idonije. Bears fans get to know this name because after the cutting of Anderson Idonije and Peppers will be on the field at DE almost exclusively. And all Izzy did in his first game as the legit starter was record 3 sacks. With peppers seeing double teams all game, the rest of the DL will see single blockers and must take advantage. Looks like Izzy is doing the most with his opportunity. Expect more solid if not spectacular performances from Izzy in the future.
Running blocking and Matt Forte. The O-line and Forte came out in the Carolina Panthers game and won it. plain and simple. They won the game in the first quarter by rolling over the panthers D. The bears had almost as many rushing yards in the panthers game as they had had on the year. Although running the ball can be boring, the bears still need to do it and up their time of possession.
Stars playing like it. On defense, is anyone in the NFL playing better on defense than Urlacher or Peppers? I'm not sure which one of them is playing better but I know both are earning their multi-million dollar contracts and then some. These guys are everywhere and offenses cant block them. And a big welcome back to Devin Hester. He singlehandly change the game of field position every game by teams kicking away from him. And to a lessor extent, Matt Forte and Peanut Tillman have been playing up to the level we expect them and making this team better.
The Bad: Tommie Harris. Tommie is making almost 8 million this year. So far the bears have gotten 4 games played and 2 tackles from Tommie. Oh yeah, Tommie has pretty lost his spot in the DT rotation. He clearly isnt the play maker that he was and has lost that explosive first step that made him so special. Sooner, rather than later, Tommie will be an ex-bear and its sad because injuries have ruined what could have been a great career.
Pass Blocking. Everyone knows this. In fact everyone watched this fall apart on national TV. Even against the panthers the bears gave up 3 sacks in 19 attempts. This falls mostly on the O-line and injuries have really hampered this unit. But it also falls on the backs and TEs. I read an article on the Manumaluena this week that said he is much better at run blocking this year than pass blocking. I'm glad we signed this guy for big in the offseason and he was billed as a 3rd Tackle for the bears. The problem is that right now he is a 3rd Bears Tackle, he whiffs on blocks as often and looks confused as often. This has to get better in order to keep Culter health because we know what is behind him now.
QB depth. Todd Collins is a 16 year vet who looked like he should have been in a recliner for this 16th year. Terrible isnt a strong enough word to describe his performance. It is also clear that Martz isnt comfortable with Hanie behind the helm by his play calling when Caleb was in the game. If Cutler cant play, I'm not sure this team can get more than 100 yards passing and Martz's offense becomes less effective than Ron Turner's.
A look back & forward
Look the bears are 4-1, tied for the best record in the NFC. This is better than I or pretty much anyone would have predicted through 5 games. I truely believe that they have yet to play their best game and really put all 3 phases together. Yes, some of the wins have been ugly or lucky but in the NFL that is gonna happen for the good teams. The bears are in the driver's seat in the NFC north and their upcoming schedule only gets better for the bears. The bears have seattle, washington, and buffalo in the next 3 games and if they dont come away from the first half of the season at 6-2 or 7-1 now that will be a big disappointment. The vikes and the lions have the same amount of wins and now Rodgers has a concussion in GB. The bears control this division and will have to play their way out of winning this division. That's right folks the bears are the odds on favorite right now for a playoff spot. Plus a chicago team signed a free agent to a huge contract and he is performing up to it. I could not be more excited as a bears fans because honestly I think this team can only get better and they are already 4-1. Go bears!