Here’s where the Bears rank two weeks into the 2019 season:
Same ol’ story: The Bears' defense has allowed the second-fewest yards per play and fourth-fewest total yards in the NFL. The defense hasn’t missed a beat under new defensive coordinator Chuck Pagano, essentially matching last season’s dominance.
Best way to win: The defense also ranks third in points allowed and third-down efficiency. While it is still early in the season, the Bears can take encouragement from limiting Super Bowl winning quarterbacks Aaron Rodgers and Joe Flacco to one touchdown a piece. The Bears have accomplished this by being one of the best at getting off the field quickly and forcing punts.
Playing it safe: The Bears’ kickoff team is tied for allowing the fewest return yards: 0. Every one of Eddy Piñeiro's kickoffs have either been a touchback or, in one case, out of bounds. The NFL has made multiple adjustments in the past decade to discourage kick returns, and the Bears are the living embodiment of the league’s success.
The kid comes around: Running back David Montgomery ranks second among rookies in carries and third in rushing yards. The 2019 third-round pick ranks below Raiders first-round pick Josh Jacobs in both categories, and Bills running back Devin Singletary, taken one pick after Montgomery, in yardage. Montgomery saw his usage jump in Week 2, tripling his carries from six to 18. He also increased his yards per carry from 3.0 to 3.4.
Pushing ‘em back: Punter Pat O'Donnell ranks fifth in the league in net average on his punts. O’Donnell averaged 57.4 yards on five attempts against the Denver Broncos. His career-long 75-yard punt against the Broncos is the longest punt this season, and the longest by anyone outside the Colquitt family (Dustin and Britton) in the past three seasons. O’Donnell’s effectiveness has improved gradually throughout his six seasons in Chicago, going from a 43.8 average as a rookie to 48.3 this season.
Tackle magnet: Linebacker Roquan Smith's 13 combined tackles against Denver tied for third-most in the league during Week 2. Smith leads the team with 18 tackles through the first two weeks, and led the team with 121 as a rookie last season. Smith broke out in Week 2 after no Bears player recorded more than five tackles against the Green Bay Packers.
Surprise, surprise: Piñeiro is one of five kickers who are perfect on the season with four or more field goal attempts. He’s the only kicker in the league who is perfect from beyond 50 yards in multiple attempts. The winner of the Bears’ extensive selection process has done everything to justify that decision through two games.