What would it take for the Chicago Bears roster to get to the Super Bowl? It’s definitely a tough question to answer. And if anyone on this planet knew the right answer, it’s safe to say they’d be a GM in the NFL for as long as they pleased.
But maybe we can take a stab at it.
Let’s Nix The Signal Caller
Yes, yes, we understand that practically all Super Bowl contending teams have a star quarterback leading the way. It’s considered one of the most important positions on the field by many for a reason. And when you look at the two teams competing in Super Bowl LVII, well, their quarterbacks are two of the best in the league at the moment. Patrick Mahomes earned 1st team All Pro honors this season while Jalen Hurts was named as the QB on the 2nd All-Pro team.
Fortunately for us, the Chicago Bears roster already has a pretty talented quarterback on it. So, for the sake of us looking to answer our question, we’re going to exclude quarterbacks from our analysis. It’s safe to assume that Justin Fields is the guy the franchise plans to build around for the future.
Moving Onto The Chiefs
First, let’s start with the AFC’s Super Bowl contender: the Kansas City Chiefs. This season, the Chiefs went 14-3 and dominated teams on their way to Super Bowl LVII. This year’s appearance happens to be their third in the past four seasons, so if there’s any team the Bears roster should be based around it’s this one.
With five All-Pro players not named Patrick Mahomes, it’s pretty clear that talent exists on all sides of the ball for the Chiefs. Travis Kelce, their 1st team All-Pro tight end, is an elite pass catcher who can block on one play and decimate opposing secondaries (almost at-will) on the next snap. They have two 2nd team All-Pro offensive lineman in Joe Thuney at left guard and Creed Humphry at center. Then, there’s Chris Jones, one of the league’s best defensive tackles who can ruin a team’s game plan if you don’t prepare for him. If that wasn’t enough, they also have Tommy Townsend, a 1st team All-Pro punter who’s number one job is pinning teams as far away from the endzone as he can.
To put it simply: the top-end of the Chiefs Super Bowl roster is composed of an elite pass catcher, a strong o-line, and game changing defensive and special teams players. Keep this recipe in mind we continue on.
What About The Eagles?
The Philadelphia Eagles are about as stacked as the Chiefs are with another five All-Pros excluding their quarterback.
To start, there’s A.J. Brown, the teams elite wide receiver who received 2nd team All-Pro honors this season. On the offensive line we have another Kelce named Jason at center with Lane Johnson at right tackle. Both were named 1st team All-Pro for the Eagles loaded o-line. And then their defensive All-Pros include Haason Reddick as 1st team outside linebacker and James Bradberry as a 2nd team corner. Reddick also received 2nd team All-Pro honors as an edge rusher too. So there’s that.
Is this starting to look familiar for anyone? No? Well, here’s the recipe for the top of the Eagles Super Bowl roster: an elite pass catcher, a strong o-line, and game changing defensive players.
Seems to be a trend.
Closing With The Chicago Bears Roster
Let’s wrap things up with turning back to the Chicago Bears and answering our initial question. What would it take for the Bears roster to get to the Super Bowl? Well, we already have our quarterback-excluding formula established:
An elite pass-catcher + a strong offensive line + a game-changing defensive / special teams playmaker or two = a Super Bowl contending roster.
Looking at some end-of-season PFF grades of the Chicago Bears roster, we can start to evaluate where we have the right pieces in place and where some gaps are. For starters, the team’s offensive line that is often viewed as being abysmal is actually not half-bad. Tevin Jenkins and Braxton Jones have the two highest PFF grades on our offense with 80.7 and 75.4 respectively. Given how the Bears led the league in rushing yards, yards per carry, rushes over 40+ yards, and were 1 attempt away from tying the Falcons for most attempts, things appear to be trending in the right direction for the o-line and rushing game. With all the assets the Bears have headed into the offseason, they could certainly build upon this o-line and bring in a veteran to continue to offer immediate improvements and help develop their young core.
The Bears defense is another area full of opportunity. Eddie Jackson leads the way with a PFF rating of 76.2 on the year, and before his injury, he was on the cusp of being one of those game-changing defensive playmakers the Bears needed. He’s not the only star safety on the Bears roster though. Jaquan Brisker, the team’s 48th pick in the second round of last year’s NFL draft finished with a PFF rating of 67.8. He showed plenty of promise in his first season and should round out the Bears secondary fairly nicely for years to come. Add in another solid piece or two from the draft or via free agency and this defense could quickly turn things to work towards playing at their 2018 level.
Areas for Improvement
To finish things off, the final piece of the formula and Bears roster that could use some extra attention is the receiving game. Guys like Darnell Mooney, Cole Kmet, and Chase Claypool are solid pieces to have, but are they 1A receiving options? Not quite yet. Giving Justin Fields an elite weapon to throw the ball to could really catapult the offense to the Super Bowl caliber level we all hope to get to. Don’t believe us? Look what happened this year with Jalen Hurts and A.J. Brown. Or when Jamar Chase joined Burrow and the Bengals. Or when Josh Allen got Stefon Diggs. It’s pretty clear to see the effects a 1A pass-catcher can have on a young quarterback.
And while we’ll have to play the wait-and-see game, we’re excited to see what Ryan Poles does this offseason as he looks to build the Bears roster and work towards our Super Bowl aspirations!
Featured Image Credit: Chicago Bears Instagram