Gordon McGuinness shared PFF’s NFL Team of the Week for preseason Week 1, which included a member of the Chicago Bears. That’s good news, right?
As an unabashed football nerd, I am not one bit ashamed to admit that one of the things I look forward to most on a weekly basis during the NFL season is Pro Football Focus sharing their “Team of the Week.” I do so hoping to find out at least one Bears performance stood out as the best in the league in that given week.
HOWEVER, I am not quite sure how to feel about the punter being that guy for the Bears.
Pat O’Donnell represented the Bears on PFF’s Team of the Week as the site’s highest-graded punter. O’Donnell’s 70.9 grade came after he punted seven times for 384 yards. His average of 54.9 yards per kick led all punters who punted at least four times, included a long of 60 yards, and had an average hang-time of 4.65 seconds (which checked in among the top-10 in Week 1). Not a bad day at the office for the longest-tenured member of the Bears’ kicking game.
The Bears’ preseason opener felt like a call-back to the John Fox days when Chicago needed O’Donnell to boom kicks, flip field position, and hope Jordan Howard did something to put the team in scoring range. And just as he did for a good chunk of the Fox era, O’Donnell delivered a solid performance. But to be honest, I’d rather not see it again. Now, hear me out before you approach me with pitchforks! Because while this is is no mark against O’Donnell, it would have been nice to have seen any other player at any other position earn high marks from PFF. On the bright side, I suppose O’Donnell is already in midseason form this early in the summer.
Now, here’s to not having to use him because the Bears are too busy scoring touchdowns on offense.