Chase Claypool has played just over 30-percent of the snaps on offense over the first two games of his Chicago Bears career, while other trade-deadline receivers in the NFL have immediately been thrown into the mix.
Most Chicago Bears fans see the Bears existing in a bubble where no other teams deal with new coaches, new players, and poor offensive line play. The Bears have the most unique setbacks of any team in the NFL, players that need to get up to speed after joining new teams at the trade deadline. Only bad things affect the Bears and the Bears have to deal with unique circumstances that no one else has to face. Or, so goes the narrative of excuses.
However one can easily debunk one excuse surrounding the newly acquired Chase Claypool who had two targets against the Lions and six targets and two catches for 13 yards against the Dolphins. Through two games, Claypool has had zero impact in the passing game for the Bears.
Meanwhile, TJ Hockenson and Kadarius Toney were also traded to new teams in the same timeframe as Chase Claypool have already made their presence felt in a big way for their respective teams through two games. Hockenson in his first game had nine catches on nine targets for 70 yards. He followed that up with 7 catches on 10 targets for 45 yards, a pretty average game for a TE. The big message here, the Vikings have trusted him to get involved on offense and he has in a big way.
Kadarius Toney was brought along a little bit slower in his week debut game, with two targets and two catches. But emerged as an important target in his second game with the Chiefs, catching four passes for 57 yards and a touchdown in their win.
So what’s the excuse for Chase Claypool? Shouldn’t he and Justin Fields be held to the same standard in developing chemistry and success within the Bears’ passing game? Claypool not having a big game against the worst defense in the NFL is a bit concerning. When the Bears needed a big catch in the fourth quarter to get in position to win the game, Chase Claypool was nowhere to be found.
Three weapons seem to be there for Fields now with Chase Claypool, Darnell Mooney and Cole Kmet and yet the passing attack is still amongst the worst in the NFL in the two games since Claypool’s arrival. Thus far none of the wide receivers brought in by Ryan Poles have looked like they should be on an NFL roster, and that includes the newly acquired Claypool.
The Bears have seven games to get their passing offense going and they theoretically have three above-average weapons with which to get the job done. Now more than ever the Bears need to open up the passing attack and get targets to their best playmakers and get Fields into a better rhythm.
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