Oh, My! The Bears Offensive Line Graded Out Surprisingly Well in Week 1

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Oh, My! The Bears Offensive Line Graded Out Surprisingly Well in Week 1

Chicago Bears

Discussing the Chicago Bears offensive line has been the bane of our existence in recent years.

Between a lack of talent, poor play, questionable scheming, and the feeling that bolstering the group wasn’t a front office priority, we had plenty to gripe about. And even though new GM Ryan Poles didn’t make a splashy addition to the trenches, he shook that group up quite a bit. The Bears’ offensive line going into Week 1 featured more newcomers (5) than returning players (4). It also included a player who was once projected to be a future starting left tackle at right guard (Teven Jenkins) and a player who was once seen as a possible long-term fixture at guard at right tackle (Larry Borom).

Hey, you wanted change, so did I … so that’s what we got!

And with one game – albeit, a wet and sloppy affair – in the books, the offensive line appears to be grading out better than we were expecting. Particularly when it came to pass protection:

The Bears being a pleasant surprise is a welcome sight.

Again, it’s just one game. And I can’t totally overlook a first half in which Fields was sacked twice and under duress on what felt like every drop-back. But in-game adjustments resulted in that group cleaning up its act as the game chugged along. In the end, the pass-blocking grade shakes out to show the unit was more good than bad overall. From where I’m sitting, members of Chicago’s O-line should look back on this performance as a success.

There is even good tape showcasing their successes:

To be clear, they weren’t good enough to rest on their laurels after just one game. However, it makes for a nice starting point for the 2022 campaign. And that’s a significant improvement over where this group was last year.

Here’s hoping we get to say the same about the offense as a whole by the time this year is up. In the meantime, I found the Bears’ placement in this graphic to be incredibly encouraging:

EPA (a.k.a. Expected Points Added) essentially measures how well a team performs relative to expectation. In other words, reading the graph above and seeing where the Bears logo lands would count as an offense that was defied expectations. And in a good way, too.

In the end, the Bears remain a work in progress. Their DVOA ranking for offense (25th, per CHGO’s Adam Hoge) really puts things into full perspective. Nevertheless, I feel better about the state of Chicago’s offense now than I did going into the season. And I’m curious to see how it builds from there.

Author: Luis Medina

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