by Mohammad Samra / Staff Reporter
The Chicago Bears are nearing a state of emergency. The team’s playoff chances are fading faster than Chicago’s warm weather.
The team’s defensive efforts led the Bears to a 3-1 record, putting the team in a tie for first place in the NFC North to start the season, only giving up 15 points or less in each of their first four games. Khalil Mack reminded the league why he’s one of the best defensive players, as he terrorized opposing offenses due to his unrelenting pressure that forced turnovers.
The offense’s constant inability to deliver has been responsible for most of the team’s failures as it approaches the midway point of the season. Chicago is currently battling with the Detroit Lions for third place in the NFC North, while the Green Bay Packers and the Minnesota Vikings are multiple games ahead of both teams.
The biggest area of concern for the Bears over the last two seasons has been at quarterback. Third-year quarterback Mitch Trubisky was selected over the likes of Patrick Mahomes (now with the Kansas City Chiefs) and Deshaun Watson (now with the Houston Texans) in the 2017 NFL Draft, but he has failed to match the production of either player. Analyst Colin Cowherd included both the Chiefs and Texans in his “Super Bowl Bubble” despite both teams having inferior defenses to Chicago.
Since the Bears have such an elite defense, the issues at quarterback don’t appear as menacing as they really are, but the addition of a capable quarterback may not only save their sinking season, but their fleeting championship window.
Younger quarterbacks have taken center stage this season, leaving many once prominent players such as Cam Newton uncertain of their position on the depth chart. The Carolina Panthers seem to have left the door open for Kyle Allen, who has played magnificently in Newton’s absence, to take over the starting job even after the former MVP is fully recovered.
Regardless of who’s under center for the Panthers when Newton is healthy, Chicago has the assets to pursue either quarterback.
Why the Bears should trade for Cam Newton.
Newton has been sidelined with a foot injury for the last few weeks, and the Panthers aren’t even thinking about starting him until he is fully recovered. He still has one year left on his contract, so even if he sits out the rest of the season with Chicago, he can use the extra time to learn the playbook and prepare his body for the wear and tear of the 2020-21 season. While the 30-year-old carries a concerning history of injuries, he also brings some Super Bowl experience, which can help steer an otherwise young Bears team over the edge. Newton’s accuracy has room for improvement, but his ability to drive the ball and create plays makes him an intriguing option to play quarterback for the Bears next season.
Why the Bears should trade for Kyle Allen.
It is likely 23-year-old Kyle Allen will be the Panthers’ franchise quarterback for years to come. He has played at a consistently high level over the last few weeks and, with the trade deadline looming, Chicago can package Trubisky and a draft pick to Carolina for Allen. Betting on Allen would be a major risk considering he went undrafted, but he, along with running back Christain McCaffrey, has given the Panthers hope after a dreadful 0-2 start. Allen doesn’t light up the stat sheet like Lamar Jackson or Aaron Rodgers, but with Matt Nagy constructing plays for him Allen could make the right throw or play in the biggest moments—the same way Dak Prescott does for the Dallas Cowboys.
Chicago doesn’t need a top-tier quarterback to contend for multiple Super Bowls, but the last season-and-a-half has proven that Mitch Trubisky is just not good enough. Whether they make a trade at the deadline remains to be seen. The possibility of signing a free agent or drafting a quarterback in 2020 remains if the Bears stay silent through Oct. 29. Whatever they ultimately decide to do, they must not let Trubisky become the next Jay Cutler.