In 2018, the Bears made the postseason for the first time since 2010. Unfortunately for then first-year head coach Matt Nagy, the Philadelphia Eagles defeated the Wild Card Round’s division-winning Bears.
In the contest, Mitchell Trubisky failed to score a touchdown until the fourth quarter. Although the Bears had the 21st-most yards on offense that year, they finished in the top 10 in points. They also had the best defense in the NFL. The defense has continued its strong performance in 2019 and 2020, while the offense has been lacking.
Although Chicago traded for Super Bowl LII champion Nick Foles, Mitchell Trubisky won the starting job at quarterback. He projects to be the team’s passing leader for the fourth consecutive season.
The Bears also gave fourth-year running back Tarik Cohen a three-year, $17.25 million extension. Included in that deal is $9.5 million guaranteed. Meanwhile, Allen Robinson is hoping for a new contract, but he has 18 targets and just eight receptions to start the season.
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2020 Bears Draft Picks
Cole Kmet, TE (Notre Dame)
Jaylon Johnson, CB (Utah)
Trevis Gipson, DE (Tulsa)
Kindle Vildor, CB (Georgia Southern)
Darnell Mooney, WR (Tulane)
Arlington Hambright, OG (Colorado)
Lachavious Simmons, OG (Tennessee State)
Notable Other New Faces for the Bears
Nick Foles, QB
Ted Ginn Jr., WR
Jimmy Graham, TE
Demetrius Harris, TE
John Jenkins, DT
Daniel McCullers, DT
Mario Edwards Jr., DE
Barkevious Mingo, LB
Artie Burns, CB
Tashaun Gipson, S
Cairo Santos, K
Notable Bears in New Places
Chase Daniel, QB – Detroit Lions
Mike Davis, RB – Carolina Panthers
Taylor Gabriel, WR – released
Trey Burton, TE – Indianapolis Colts
Adam Shaheen, TE – Miami Dolphins
Ben Braunecker, TE – released
Cornelius Lucas, OT – Washington Football Team
Nick Williams, DE – Detroit Lions
Abdullah Anderson, DE – Minnesota Vikings
Leonard Floyd, LB – Los Angeles Rams
Nick Kwiatkoski, LB – Las Vegas Raiders
Kevin Pierre-Louis, LB – Washington Football Team
Isaiah Irving, LB – Denver Broncos
Aaron Lynch, LB – released
Prince Amukamara, CB – released
Kevin Toliver, CB – released
Ha Ha Clinton-Dix, S – released
Notable Bears on the Injury Report
Darion Clark, TE – placed on injured reserve for an undisclosed reason
John Jenkins, DT – placed on injured reserve with a thumb injury; expected to return for Week 6
Mario Edwards Jr., DE – questionable for Week 3 with a leg injury
Khalil Mack, OLB – questionable for Week 3 with a knee injury
Michael Joseph, CB – placed on injured reserve for an undisclosed reason
Artie Burns, CB – placed on injured reserve with a knee injury
Eddy Pineiro, K – placed on injured reserve with a groin injury; expected to return for Week 4
Bears Who Have Opted Out of 2020 NFL Season
Eddie Goldman, DT
Jordan Lucas, S
Bears Offense Predictions
Can Mitchell Trubisky bring the Bears back to the playoffs in 2020? He has led the Bears to a couple of four-point victories to begin the season, but the first required a 21-point fourth quarter, and in the second, the Bears did not score in the second half.
Maybe this is the year that Chicago has many close victories, but it is also possible that the Bears have had an easy schedule thus far. The Detroit Lions and Saquon Barkley-less New York Giants, seem to be below-average teams.
Bears Running Backs: Can David Montgomery Be a 1,000-Yard Rusher for the Team in 2020?
After Matt Forte graced Soldier Field, the Bears had Jordan Howard as the lead running back for three years. Chicago then selected David Montgomery with the No. 73 overall pick in the 2019 NFL Draft. In his rookie season, Montgomery led the team with 242 rushes and 889 rushing yards. He fumbled twice last year, but had 1,074 yards from scrimmage (4.0 yards per touch) and scored seven touchdowns.
In 2020, Montgomery is looking for an improved season, and he is already on his way. After rushing for just 3.7 yards per carry in 2019, he is up to 5.0 yards per rushing attempt this year. Montgomery also has 55 receiving yards and a touchdown on four receptions. If the Bears can get a strong season from Montgomery, double-digit wins could be in play.
Meanwhile, Tarik Cohen will hope to duplicate his season from 2019. Last year, the pass-catching running back finished with 79 receptions, 456 receiving yards, and three receiving touchdowns. He also rushed 64 times for 213 yards. In 2020, he already has 74 yards from scrimmage on 15 touches but has yet to get into the end zone.
Bears Wide Receivers: Can Allen Robinson Top 100 Receptions in 2020?
Allen Robinson was selected No. 61 overall in the 2014 draft by the Jacksonville Jaguars. He made his first – and currently only – Pro Bowl in 2015, as he led the NFL in receiving touchdowns with 14 that year. In 2018, the Bears signed Robinson to a three-year, $42 million contract, and he has been Chicago’s leading receiver since.
After grabbing 55 balls for 754 yards and four touchdowns in 2018, he improved the following year. In 2019, he almost had 100 receptions, while the next-highest Bears receiver had just more than half as many. Last year, Robinson finished with a team-leading 98 receptions, 1,147 receiving yards, and seven receiving touchdowns.
Anthony Miller finished with 52 receptions, 656 receiving yards, and two touchdowns in his second season in the league. Taylor Gabriel, who is no longer with the team, finished with four receiving touchdowns, the team’s second-highest mark. Rookie Darnell Mooney (six receptions, 74 receiving yards, and one touchdown in 2020) seems to be stepping in as the third wide receiver on the depth chart this year.
Bears Tight Ends: Can Jimmy Graham Flashback to His Old Self in 2020?
Jimmy Graham, who also wore No. 80 with the Green Bay Packers in 2018 and 2019, has changed to the other side of the rivalry for this season and possibly 2021. Graham signed a two-year, $16 million contract with the Bears in March.
The five-time Pro Bowler and 2013 First Team All-Pro selection are looking to reach the upper echelon of tight ends once again. Unfortunately, the 33-year-old tight end has just four receptions for 43 yards and a touchdown in 2020.
His receptions have decreased over the years. The New Orleans Saints drafted him No. 95 overall in the 2010 draft, and he caught 31 passes for 356 yards and five touchdowns that year. He became one of Drew Brees’ favorite targets from 2011 to 2014, but Graham saw his usage decrease in Seattle.
Then in Green Bay, Graham’s 60 targets last year were his fewest since his rookie year. He is on pace for a similar season in 2020, but he could become a significant red zone threat this season in Chicago.
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Bears Defense Predictions
The Bears defense has five sacks, nine quarterback hits, two interceptions, and 11 passes defended through two games in 2020. The defense has been in the middle of the pack in yards allowed this year but is ranked among the best five in points allowed. With LB Khalil Mack leading this defense, Chicago should be in for another strong year.
Unfortunately, Mack is questionable for the third consecutive week with a knee issue that has lingered since the beginning of the season. Heading into Week 3, he will have to stop the Atlanta Falcons’ impressive offensive attack. The five-time Pro Bowler and three-time First-Team All-Pro selection have a sack and seven tackles through two games, as he is looking to top his 8.5 sacks and 47 tackles from last season.
Another injury-related situation on the Bears defense concerns veteran defensive tackle John Jenkins, who will be forced to miss most of the first half of the season with a torn ligament in his thumb.
The 31-year-old journeyman played well for the Miami Dolphins in 2019, so Chicago hopes that former Pittsburgh Steelers defensive tackle Daniel McCullers can help as his temporary replacement. The 28-year-old sixth-round selection of the 2014 draft has not been flashy in terms of statistics but has missed just one game since the beginning of 2018 as a part of a strong defense in Pittsburgh.
Read Also: Detroit Lions Predictions and Odds
Bears Special Teams Predictions
Kicker Cairo Santos, who is replacing the injured Eddy Pineiro, has been busy in his second stint with the Bears. After playing briefly for the Tennessee Titans in 2019, Santos looks to have an improved 2020.
He made just four of his nine field-goal attempts last year but has made the first three of his four attempts in 2020. His only miss was a 50-yard attempt in the second game of the season, and it occurred in the fourth quarter. The Bears are lucky that the miss did not affect the outcome of the game.
Santos’ career began in Kansas City, but a groin injury led the Chiefs to release him in 2017. That same year, Santos played two games for a Chicago team with three different players kicking for them. He then played with the Los Angeles Rams and Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 2018.
Bears Head Coach Predictions
Matt Nagy enters his third year with the Bears after five years with the Kansas City Chiefs. In his first season with Chicago, Nagy had an impressive 12-4 record. He was very fortunate to be able to trade for Khalil Mack on September 1 of that year. Nagy has Chuck Pagano leading the defense for the second consecutive season in hopes of duplicating the strong 2019 season.
On the offensive end, Trubisky will be leaned upon by new offensive coordinator Bill Lazor, the former offensive coordinator with the Miami Dolphins and Cincinnati Bengals. If Trubisky stumbles near Chicago’s bye week (Week 11), maybe Chicago will consider a switch to Nick Foles, who is a proven playoff quarterback. He took over for Carson Wentz in Philadelphia and won a Super Bowl with the Eagles.
Bears Predictions for Week 3
The 2-0 Bears were the underdog (+2.5) in Week 1 and covered, but they did not cover the favorite (-4.5) in Week 2. Chicago opened a 3.5-point underdog, and the line dropped slightly to three points.
The Bears’ opponent in Week 3 is the 0-2 Falcons, who have an explosive offense but have the league’s worst defense. If Trubisky can take advantage of a struggling Atlanta defense, the Bears are a strong bet in this contest. However, Trubisky has yet to put together a strong offensive game for the full four quarters. If he can put together at least three impressive quarters, Chicago can be a good pick for this matchup.
Bears Predictions for 2020 Season
The Bears opened the season with a 2020 over/under of eight wins, and those that bet the over must be very happy thus far. Chicago is a dark horse for the 2020 playoffs because the team could be under the radar for most of the season due to the Bears being better on the ball’s defensive side. Also, the addition of Nick Foles cannot hurt their chances. Chicago’s +3900 Super Bowl futures bet, +1800 odds to win the NFC Championship, and +240 odds to win the NFC North all have some value.
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