Wondering about a player, a past game or another issue involving the Bears? Senior writer Larry Mayer answers a variety of questions from fans on ChicagoBears.com.
Who do you think was the Bears' MVP during the first half of the season?
Oak Lawn, Illinois
I would select defensive end Akiem Hicks as the Bears' MVP to this point in the season. He's picked up where he left off last year, leading a resurgent defense with seven sacks, 11 quarterback hits and nine tackles-for-loss. Hicks has performed well against the run and pass, raising his level of play since signing a long-term contract extension one day before the start of the regular season. I'd chose running back Jordan Howard as a close second. Coming off a record-breaking rookie season, Howard has rushed for 662 yards and four touchdowns so far this year, including games of 167, 140 and 102 yards.
What area would you most like to see the Bears improve upon the rest of the season?
That's an easy one, Phil. The Bears rank dead last in the NFL in passing offense, averaging just 157.5 yards per game. A lot of that has to do with some run-heavy game plans, but I would like to see a more productive passing game over the second half of the season. And I'm optimistic that will happen given rookie quarterback Mitchell Trubisky's continued development coupled with an improved receiving corps. Dontrelle Inman is set to make his Bears debut Sunday against the Packers, Tre McBride III is building more of a rapport with Trubisky with each passing week and Markus Wheaton is continuing to recover from a groin injury.
Which Bears player do you think will be the most pleasant surprise over the second half of the season?
North Chicago, Illinois
I'm going to select the aforementioned McBride. He had just one reception for 18 yards this season before catching three passes for 92 yards Oct. 29 against the Saints. Like I said, he seems to be developing some cohesiveness with Trubisky, and it appears that McBride also possesses the traits to be a successful NFL receiver. I definitely can see him emerging as a very pleasant surprise over the second half of the season.