By Ryan Bukowiecki (@ryanbski)
So far, the 2020 NFL season is moving quickly. The halfway point is nearing and teams are revealing more and more what they could be looking like come playoff time.
For the Chicago Bears it has been a season of often ugly visuals lifted up by gratifying results, as the team is 5-1 and atop the NFC North with a chance to take down another potential NFC playoff team in the Los Angeles Rams on Monday Night Football in L.A.
The Bears are in an enviable position, only losing one game in the first six, but still needing a lot of improvement. Of course making improvements is a much easier when you are not losing while doing so. Which is why, starting this week, it is so important the Bears make visible progress in improving. The schedule starts to turn at this point and will only get tougher as each week progresses.
On a national stage again, the Bears have a chance to make another statement about how good they are and not only keep their playoff hopes strong but also keep them in the hunt for the No. 1 overall seed in the NFC.
Sorta hard to believe the Bears are so great record-wise with what fans have seen on the field — will this latest showcase add fuel to the Bears fire or start to show the 5-1 start has been a mirage? Here are the four goals for the Bears to keep fans happy with a win on Monday Night Football.
Remember to visit WARR on Anchor, WARR Media’s podcast platform, for the podcast version of 4th and Goal(s), featuring more detailed breakdowns of each game’s talking points.
Cut Fuel to Rams’ Engine — Under head coach Sean McVay, the Rams have been one of the better rushing teams in the league. Running the football is core to everything the Rams do on offense, therefore stopping the that element of their attack is of utmost importance.
Fear the Reaper — Defensive tackle Aaron Donald has been the best defensive player in the league for the past few seasons. Donald is an ultimate disruptor and he is typically at the top of any offensive line’s game-plan regarding who to keep out their backfield. This Bears offensive line is struggling and short-handed, they obviously have to have slowing Donald down as their most important plan for Monday night.
Second in Demand — A few weeks ago we had a Bears goal being to find a reliable second option to emerge in the passing game. Still that position is unfilled and with Rams superstar cornerback Jalen Ramsey likely to cover No. 1 wide receiver Allen Robinson all game, this should be a crucial time for said second option to step up.
Get Hands on the Ball — Offensively, the Bears are still struggling with putting up points and we’re not seeing exactly how that will change anytime soon. Certainly taking care of the ball is essential for the Bears. but taking the ball away from the Rams is also fundamentally important to the Bears getting a victory. We’re used to a “handsy” defense being elemental to the Bears’ success and that can’t change if the Bears want to continue being a winning team.
Ryan Bukowiecki covers the Chicago Bears and professional football for WARR