As we hit the half way mark of the NFL season, its time to start giving out progress reports. Were going to give grades to teams based on their performance on offense, defense, and overall play.
The Bears offense has been surprisingly effective under new coach Marc Tressman. Before tearing his groin muscle, Jay Cutler was having one of the better seasons of his career. Cutler has so far thrown 12 TD, 7 INT, and has thrown for over 1600 yards. Matt Forte has come back from an awful year last year and has been one of the most productive backs in the NFL. Brandon Marshall is on pace for another 1000 yard receiving year. In addition, Alshon Jeffrey has been having a break out year and Martellus Bennet has proven to be a very good signing for this team. Look for this team to keep up the solid production under an offensive minded coach.
Mixtures of injuries and disappointing seasons have plagued the typically feared Chicago defense this year. They lost two of their top defensive lineman in Henry Melton and Nate Collins. Julius Peppers, DJ Anderson, and James Anderson have been non existent this year. The retirement of Brian Urlacher has clearly hurt this team on and of the field. LB Lance Briggs and CB Charles Tillman have been bright spots, but the rest of this team (particularly the safeties) has looked atrocious.
While the offense has looked impressive, the defense has looked the exact opposite. Poor play and disappointing special teams have plagued this team this year. Look for the Monsters of the Midway to disappear in the second half of the season.