The Bears’ receivers aren’t exactly the most glamorous group in the league.
They’re mostly making plays, not scoring touchdowns.
That’s why it’s easy to overlook how impressive they have been in recent years.
Here are five takeaways from Bears receiver Matt Forte’s second season as a full-time starter.
They are a real threat to score big.
In 2016, Bears wide receiver Kenny Stills was targeted 22 times, scoring a league-high 14 touchdowns.
His production jumped in 2017, when he scored a career-high 25 touchdowns, according to Pro Football Focus.
But this year, he has a team-high 31 touchdowns.
With Stills and fellow receivers Mike Williams and Brian Quick, the Bears have the best receiver corps in the NFL.
Bears receivers are averaging nearly 1.2 yards per route run and have scored 16 touchdown passes, good for the third-best total in the AFC.
Bears coach Lovie Smith likes to call plays.
Last year, Stills caught 11 passes for 139 yards and two touchdowns.
He has also made plays in the red zone, and he caught a touchdown pass on a fake punt return for a score last season.
He’s been targeted a league high 41 times, which is good for a touchdown-to-interception ratio of 13.5.
Cutler trusts him.
In 2015, the team selected Forte with the No. 1 overall pick in the draft.
He caught eight passes for 115 yards and a touchdown.
The 6-foot-3, 220-pounder finished the year with 12 touchdowns, good enough for second-most in the NFC behind the Falcons’ Julio Jones.
But his production was uneven because of injury, and in 2017 he caught only one pass for 32 yards.
That didn’t help his cause in the Pro Bowl, where he was one of four receivers to not score.
The Bears drafted receivers in the first round in both years they drafted him.
That means he’s been on the field for all the games and notched some great catches.
They have great chemistry.
Bears quarterback Matt Fortes and running back Matt Forten are the best tandem in the division.
Forte is one of only three quarterbacks to throw for at least 3,000 yards in three seasons, and Forten was the only running back to finish with a higher rushing yardage average than Forte in 2016.
The two are also among the league leaders in total touchdowns (19), yards per carry (4.3), and total touchdowns scored (21).
Forte and Forte are playing for a title.
They’ve been called on to help lead their team to the Super Bowl.
They’ll be tested this season.
They should be better.
The team’s receivers are playing well, and they have the talent to improve.
Fortes is the Bears second-leading receiver with 7.5 yards per catch.
Williams has a career average of 9.4 yards per reception, and Quick has had success catching passes out of the backfield.
Both are good enough to help the Bears to a Super Bowl run.
The biggest question will be if the Bears can keep all their receivers healthy.
But the Bears are showing signs of confidence in the receivers.