DJ Moore

From the unexpected to the notable stars: Handing out midseason awards for Bears offensive players

Who's the team's offensive MVP, rookie of the year, and more heading into the bye week

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With the Bears on their bye week it’s as good a time as any to reflect on the season up to this point. Expectations varied for the team this year, with some believing they could push for a playoff spot and others believing they would repeat as the worst team in the NFL. As it turned out, things trended closer to the latter than the former, but it’s clear they’re an improved football team. The run defense has gone from one of the worst units in the league to one of the best. DJ Moore has been the true WR1 the team has lacked since Allen Robinson left. Justin Fields has played some of the best football of his career over his last five games.

Who have been the best performers? Who have been breakout players? Who’s done the most with limited opportunities? Scroll on to see our offensive midseason (ok really two-thirds through, but who cares) award winners.


Winner: Cole Kmet
Runner up: Lucas Patrick

The Bears signed Cole Kmet to a reported four-year, $50 million contract extension over the offseason and they’ve immediately seen a return on their investment. Kmet has continued to earn praise from coaches for his improved blocking, but more importantly he’s developed into a clear No. 2 pass-catching option for Fields. Kmet ranks second on the team in catches (56), receiving yards (482) and touchdowns (5). He trails only Moore in each of those categories. Further, Kmet’s catch per game (4.7) and yards per game (40.2) averages currently rank as career highs.

Lucas Patrick earns an honorable mention for sliding in to play reliably at center after his injuries last year led to a disastrous campaign at guard.


Winner: Darnell Wright
Runner up: Tyson Bagent

Playing offensive tackle as a rookie is extremely hard to do, and unsurprisingly Wright has struggled at times when defending some of the league’s premier pass rushers. However, Wright had several extremely impressive showings and has been downright dominant as a run blocker at times. There are plenty of instances where Wright has shown why the Bears drafted him with the No. 10 overall pick this year. If he continues to develop at the position, it’s reasonable to believe he could be a Pro Bowl-caliber tackle for years to come.

Bagent earns a nod here for his remarkable journey from undrafted free agent rookie out of a D-II school to game winner as a starting quarterback. More on that later.


Winner: DJ Moore
Runner up: Darnell Wright

Moore has single-handedly given the Bears a new dimension to their offense that they’ve been lacking. He can beat defenders in a variety of ways, whether it’s with a shifty move off the line, precise route running, a difficult contested catch or by running through defenders for yards after the catch. Moore is versatile enough that the Bears can line him up in different spots, use him in the screen game or as a deep threat. He’s also incredibly clutch and can be counted upon to make a big play when it’s needed most. Moore was the centerpiece of the blockbuster trade that sent the No. 1 overall pick to the Panthers back in March and he has absolutely lived up to the billing.

Wright deserves a mention in this category as well for solidifying the right tackle position. It was a big hole with several players moving in and out last year and now there’s no question of who will man the position for at least the duration of Wright’s rookie contract.


Winner: Tyson Bagent
Runner up: D’Onta Foreman

Backup quarterback is one of the most difficult positions to man on a football team. They don’t get many team reps– if any at all– during the regular season, yet they’re expected to put the team in a position to win when needed. That’s exactly what Bagent did when he filled in for Fields for a month earlier this year. Bagent showed great command of the offense, made some impressive throws and most importantly won a couple of games. The Bears went 2-2 with Bagent under center, and in the process he proved he absolutely belongs in the league. Not bad for a UDFA rookie from Shepherd University.

Similarly, Foreman stepped up and led the Bears rushing attack for a month when Khalil Herbert was on IR– and he did it after the Bears made him a healthy scratch for a month. The run offense didn’t miss a beat with Foreman leading the way.


Winner: DJ Moore
Runner up: Justin Fields

It’s hard to overstate how important Moore has been to the Bears this season. He’s a guy who can make any play call work and who makes everyone around him better. Moore has been on the receiving end of most of Fields’ best plays simply because he’s been such a reliable target. It’s been years since the Bears have had a receiver who can be trusted to beat one-on-one coverage consistently, or who can be trusted to come down with 50-50 balls more often than not. He’s on pace to have one of the best receiving seasons in franchise history while demanding the most attention from opposing defenses. That attention has helped others like Kmet and Darnell Mooney get open, too.

Other than a couple of late-game fumbles on Monday Night Football, Fields has played remarkably well over his last five games. Well enough to warrant sticking around in Chicago if he keeps it up. But his slow start to the season kept him from winning the midseason MVP award.

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