For what seems like forever, it’s been the Bears’ offense that’s held the team back from sustained success, and any real Super Bowl aspirations since 1985. Sure, the team has fielded great players, but not many true game changers. So when asked if the current Bears squad had any “elite” players on offense, most of the Football Aftershow crew was unequivocal in their assessment.
“No, and it’s one of their problems,” said Olin Kreutz. “It’s weapons, matchups, someone who can make a play. That’s why with Tarik getting hurt you thought that would be a big problem for them-- because he’s a matchup problem.
“Allen Robinson is too, but sometimes, they can take him away by doubling him. He’s really good but I don’t know if I’d say he is elite.”
Lance Briggs agreed, but placed more of the onus on the Bears’ offensive identity and game plan rather than on their personnel.
“If he was given the opportunity, if he was given 18, 20, 22 carries a game, that Montgomery could be one of those players you could count on. A bellcow-type running back.
“We just don’t get the opportunity to see him do it. He will have little stints, have little moments where they give him the ball, a little burst. But he doesn’t get the ball consistently enough for him to be put in that category.”
The one dissenter was Alex Brown, who argued that Robinson was a truly elite player, as he performs better than the majority of other receivers.
“Elite to me is if you are top-10 in the league at your position,” Brown said. “I think Allen Robinson is. I think Allen Robinson is somewhere around that top-10, top-12 receiver in the league. I think he’s the closest thing to being elite on this offense.”
For what it’s worth, Brown is right on with his assessment of Robinson. Through Sunday afternoon’s slate of games, he ranked 11th in the league with 25 receptions, ninth in the league with 331 yards and had the sixth-most improbable catch of the season, according to NFL’s NextGen stats.
But as we’ve seen over the last 20 games dating back to 2019, Robinson can’t do everything by himself. If the Bears are to improve on offense they might need to add some more truly elite playmakers.