Few groups dealt with more adversity than the O-line, which handled most of them with some measure of success. Losing Matt Forte and Eddie Royal for the second half of the Minnesota game undercut the entire offense, particularly with a line that had just one player – right tackle Kyle Long – in the same position he occupied opening day.
But the Bears were able to rush for a passable 3.9-yard average and limited the Minnesota defense to one sack of Jay Cutler by a defense that was top-10 in sack percentage.
“They did a couple things but I thought we adjusted well,” said Matt Slauson, a key to the unit as he shifted from left guard to center in place of injured Hroniss Grasu. “Identification went well but I think we can do better. We had one sack, a couple hits and hurries, but to me, one sack is one too many.”
[NBC SHOP: Gear up, Bears fans!]
Run blocking was too inconsistent overall to gain control of the line of scrimmage, with the Bears running a perfectly blocked trap for a 12-yard Matt Forte run, for example, then two plays later getting zero movement or precision on a basic carry.
Virtually every member of the group provided an individual low point, many extremely costly. Patrick Omameh, stepping in at right guard, negated a long third-down conversion with a holding penalty late in the second quarter. Long appeared to lose a one-on-one against rookie end Danielle Hunter for a first-quarter sack. Left tackle Charles Leno Jr. set the offense back severely with a hold inside the Chicago 20.
“I thought we did a really good job up front with the injuries,” said quarterback Jay Cutler. “Slauson did a great job stepping at center. Two guards did a good job on the outside.”
Moon's Grade: B-
Positive press about the Chicago Bears' offseason is having a strong impact on the jersey sales for the team's highest-profile player, Mitch Trubisky.
According to Dick's Sporting Goods, Trubisky's No. 10 is the fifth-most popular jersey among offensive players over the last 30 days. He's No. 6 among all players, regardless of position.
The Bears' offseason has been full of superlatives since their aggressive approach to free agency. The signings of Allen Robinson, Trey Burton and Taylor Gabriel put the spotlight on Trubisky and the potentially surging passing game. The second-round selection of Anthony Miller and word of Kevin White's offseason emergence has turned positive momentum into higher-than-anticipated expectations for Trubisky this season.
For Chicago to have any chance at meeting those expectations, Trubisky, who's entering his first full season as a starter with a new head coach and offensive system, has to thrive. Fans must be confident that he will, considering the investment they're making in his jersey.
Trubisky ended his rookie season with four wins in 12 starts, throwing for 2,193 yards with seven touchdowns and seven interceptions. He completed 59.4 percent of his passes. He should have a much more productive season in 2018 with his new arsenal of skill players and an innovative coaching staff, led by coach Matt Nagy and offensive coordinator Mark Helfrich.
The Chicago Bears will kick off the fourth season of "Meet the Rookies" on June 25, a series that profiles four of the team's 2018 draft picks for a behind-the-scenes look at their journey to the NFL.
The four-episode series will air on ChicagoBears.com at 7:00 p.m from June 25 - 28 and will feature one rookie per night.
Monday's episode will cover the Bears' first-round pick, Roquan Smith. Selected with the eighth-overall pick, Smith is expected to become an instant-impact player on defense. He's expected to make an impact off the field, too, as a high-character leader. Smith's linebacker-mate Joel Iyiegbuniwe is the focus of Tuesday's episode, with Anthony Miller (Wednesday) and James Daniels (Thursday) rounding out Season 4.
For a deeper dive into what's in store in "Meet the Rookies," check out this description.