The Bears Played a Surprisingly Disciplined Game on Sunday and That Needs to Continue

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The Bears Played a Surprisingly Disciplined Game on Sunday and That Needs to Continue

Chicago Bears

While there’s been an obvious (and necessary) focus on what happened at the end of Sunday’s game against the Packers, there are things that didn’t happen that should have Bears fans encouraged moving forward.

For example … Did you notice the number of penalties the Bears took on Sunday? You probably didn’t. And that’s a good thing, because there wasn’t much in the penalties department. The Bears were tagged for just five penalties and 35 yards on Sunday, which is one of the better showings for the team in recent years and not something that should go overlooked.

Because if you recall, penalties have been particularly harmful to the Bears in recent seasons. According to The Football Database, the Bears finished 2017 as the eighth-most penalized team in football. Not a great look for John Fox in what turned out to be his final year as Bears head coach. These penalties kept drives alive for opposing offenses when they were just about to head off the field, put Bears quarterbacks in holes to start drives, and were ultimately a sign of an undisciplined team that wasn’t as prepared for the moment as they could have (or, rather, should have) been.

Indeed, we dissected the Bears’ penalty issues in October 2017 when they were at the start of a disturbing trend. Little did we know, that was just the beginning. Things wouldn’t get better for Chicago from a disciplinary angle for while.

And it’s not like the miscues were focused in one area, it was everywhere. The Bears were tied for the fourth most unnecessary roughness and defensive holding penalties, ranked fifth in delay of game, seventh in false starts, and eighth in offensive holding. Cracking the top-10 in five different penalty categories seems like an easy path toward losing double-digit games.

Of course, this trend of shooting-themselves-in-the-foot tred made a bad situation worse, especially on the offensive side of the ball, where Mitch Trubisky was starting his developmental process (let alone, trying to win football games). So that end, Sunday’s cleanliness was very welcomed.

Limiting penalties isn’t necessarily a magic elixir. But it’s no coincidence that good teams are disciplined and bad teams lose more than they win. Cleaning up in this area should help the Bears get back on the path of winning football, because if they’re going to be a surprise contender at any point this year, they’ll need to be almost perfect in every area of the game they can control. So to that end, its nice to see they’ve gotten off to a solid start.

(Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images)


Author: Luis Medina

Luis Medina is a Writer at Bleacher Nation, and you can find him on Twitter at@lcm1986.