When people talk about the Chicago Bears, only a few names get brought up. Everyone likes to talk about Khalil Mack, Akiem Hicks, Mitchell Trubisky and Eddie Jackson. While those guys are great, and all put up very good statistical seasons, it’s not just them. There are players on the Bears that are very impactful, yet they don’t get discussed because they don’t put up the sexiest numbers. However, their presence on the field, and what they’re able to do was vital to the Bears making the playoffs for the first time since 2010. Let’s take a look at some of the Bears unsung heroes.
Unsung Heroes of the 2018 Chicago Bears Season
Eddie Goldman is one of the most underrated players in all of football. He gets overshadowed by Hicks and Mack because of the numbers they put up. Goldman only recorded three sacks this season, but don’t let that fool you. He was graded the 13th best defensive lineman by PFF, recording a grade of 88.9. He provides a big presence in the middle, and that shows when stopping the run. The Bears allowed the fewest rushing yards per game, as well as the fourth fewest yards per rush in the league. Goldman may not put up the numbers of other defensive tackles like Aaron Donald or Fletcher Cox, but he’s an extremely valuable piece on one of the best defenses in the league.
Bryce Callahan had another great year as the Bears slot cornerback. Again, he doesn’t put up the interception numbers that Eddie Jackson and Kyle Fuller do, but he’s extremely important. He was graded as the eighth best corner this season according to PFF. Before his season ended due to injury, he was a force in the slot, shutting down some of the league’s best slot receivers. He was severely missed during the stretch run, as well as in the playoffs. Philadelphia Eagles receiver Golden Tate caught the game-winning touchdown pass in the Wild Card game. If Callahan was in coverage, there’s a possibility that the pass doesn’t get completed. Callahan will be a free agent this offseason, so we will see if the Bears decide to bring him back for the next few seasons.
James Daniels was the 39th overall pick for the Bears in the 2018 draft. He started the season as a backup to Eric Kush. However, Kush was sidelined due to a neck injury, which forced Daniels into a starting role at guard. Daniels didn’t disappoint. He proved his worth in two of the biggest games of the Bears season. In the first contest, he was an integral part of shutting down Aaron Donald in the Bears 15-6 win over the Los Angeles Rams. In the latter contest, he helped slow down Eagles all-pro pass rusher Fletcher Cox. Daniels will continue to grow as a player and will be a starting guard in the NFL for many years to come.
Last Word on the Unsung Heroes
Football is a team game. While you need great players, you also need players who do the dirty work. They don’t get the attention that the star players do, but the team wouldn’t be the same without them. The Bears have a ton of players like that on their roster. However, I wanted to focus on Eddie Goldman, Bryce Callahan, and James Daniels. These three guys were incredibly important for the Bears this season. Hopefully, the Bears can bring Callahan back in free agency, so we can see these three continue to make a big contribution on the field.