After going 12-4 in 2018 the Bears regressed last season going 8-8 and failing to make the playoffs.
The team has some big issues with the main one being at the quarterback position where starter Mitchell Trubisky may be pushed by off-season addition and former Super Bowl MVP Nick Foles.
Odds to win NFC North: +450
Odds to win NFC: +1700
Odds to win Super Bowl: +4000
Key Additions: After one injury-marred season with the Jacksonville Jaguars the Bears traded for Nick Foles. The team also brought in veteran TE Jimmy Graham. Chicago did not have a first-round pick in the last draft but had two second-round picks where they chose TE Cole Kent and CB Jaylon Johnson, who was projected to go in the first round and may have been a steal.
Key Losses: On the offensive side of the ball the Bears lost deep threat WR Taylor Gabriel and TE Trey Burton, who was injured most of last season. On defense, they lost CB Prince Amukamara and Nick Kwiatkoski. Longtime right guard Kyle Long retired.
The big question heading into the season is will there be a QB controversy. The team stated Trubisky their guy but then they went out and traded for Foles.
After a strong sophomore campaign in 2018, Trubisky struggled in 2019 with only 17 TD and 10 INT and ranked 28th in the league in QBR.
The Bears only ranked 29th in the league last season averaging only 17.5 ppg. It was not all Trubisky’s fault, as he played behind a sketchy offensive line that gave up 38 sacks and had troubles opening up holes for the run game, which ranked 27th in the league in rushing yards per game.
David Montgomery heads into his second season as the starting RB and was the only back that had more than 213 yards last season.
He rushed for 889 yards with 6 TD but only averaged 3.7 yards per carry. Allen Robinson led the team with 1,147 yards with 7 TD and will be the #! WR this season.
Chicago did not do much to address offensive needs in the off-season but did add two tight ends.
The Bears’ dominant defense of 2018 was beset by injuries last season with key cog DE Akiem Hicks missing 11 games and LB’s Roquan Smith and Danny Trevathan also missing significant time.
Those guys head into this season healthy and that will be key for Chicago bouncing back. Star LB Khalil Mack had a career-low in tackles last season (47) and registered his fewest sacks (8.5) since his rookie season.
With the many issues the Bears have on offense they need their D to be elite once again.
The schedule favors the Bears, as in their first seven games they face teams that failed to make the playoffs last season. In their first two games, they face the Giants and Lions, who combined for only seven wins last season.
Chicago needs to get off to a good start since its second half of the season is a killer one. How killer? In their last 9 games, they face the Saints, Packers and Vikings twice, the Texans, and the Titans.
Prediction: I don’t think Trubisky will last too long as the starter and while Foles was a hero for the Eagles in their Super Bowl run a few seasons back he will be able to do it all with an offense that has many question marks.
I do think the D will be better than last season, but it helps to score to win and the Bears will have issues doing that.
Chicago will have a good start but struggle in the second half with a tough schedule and go 8-8 or 9-7 and miss the playoffs for the second-straight season.