After our divisional season review podcasts, we are now looking to the future and asking where each franchise goes from here. We put ourselves in the chair of being GM or the owner and going over what moves we would make in order to win a Superbowl, make the playoffs or just regain some pride…
Today we take a look at the Chicago Bears.
Don’t forget to check out the NFC North podcast where we talked to Martin from BearDownUK and get their thoughts on them!
How Did Last Season Go?
It couldn’t have gone any better really, even with all the hype surrounding the team and the bandwagon getting overbooked. If you’d have offered a Bears fan a playoff spot, they’d have bitten your hand off like a bear would if you offered it a salmon…
Top of the North with a 12-4 record and if it wasn’t for Cody Parkey’s exceptional accuracy for connecting pigskin with metal, they would have seen the divisional round of the playoffs and maybe more.
A week 17 win vs the Vikings and knocking them out of the playoffs would’ve tasted sweet for those at Soldier Field, though. The Bears won 9 of their last 10 with the only loss coming in OT vs the Giants in a strange one.
The defence gave up the fewest points I the NFL over the regular season and were top 10 on offence in points scored, which may surprise some.
The Bears are not rich in the Salary Cap or Draft Pick stakes after their trades last year.
Around $18m in cap at the time of writing and their 1st and 2nd round picks have been traded away for Mack and Miller respectively. So it’s pretty much as you were in terms of personnel for the Bears.
Rumours of Jordan Howard going out the exit door are interesting. The tandem of Howard and Cohen seem to do the trick, its just a question of perhaps having them both in the backfield to help with trying to not be too predictable for playcalling when one of them are in on the snap. Apart from that, don’t expect too much change for a team that feel like they are almost there.
UPDATE: Amos has signed with the Packers
After all of the outlay last season, I’d be surprised if we see much movement from the Bears this offseason. They have most of their pieces in place on both sides of the ball. Maybe a sprinkle here or there for depth. Baked in to that is their lack of options with their salary cap position and draft picks for 2019. Expect a replacement for Howard if he leaves and also maybe an addition or two on the O Line.
UPDATE: Mike Davis has signed from the Seahawks
Outlook for Next Year
Things look great for the Bears and now look to maintain rather than be a part of the chasing pack, which may come as a weird feeling to Bears fans. The microscope will be on Trubisky to see if he can take another (needed) step forward.
The Bears will face a division winners schedule and the collective W% of their opponents last season stands at .520 with matches against the Chiefs, Saints, Rams, Chargers, Cowboys to add on top of 2 matches vs Green Bay and the Vikings. If they retain their division title, they’d have earned it.
You’d expect the Packers and Vikings to be much more competitive so things could be a lot tighter this season.
The defence will probably be leaned on once more and grinding out results, which was the winning formula last season. In Nagy’s 2nd season, maybe expect a bit more effectiveness on offence with a few more tricks up his sleeve to come out on the field. I’m not sure Trubisky progresses as much as most will hope and this may just come back to bite them in 2019.
That said, a playoff berth should await them again, but as a 5 or 6 seed.
Mitch Trubisky – No thanks. (likely undrafted in redraft, mid/low QB2 range. Maybe one for a late round bestball)
Jordan Howard – 5th Round, low RB 2 range
Tarik Cohen – 4th Round, High RB 2 range (higher in PPR)
Allen Robinson – 3rd Round, low WR2 range
Anthony Miller – 8th/9th Round, low WR3 range
Taylor Gabriel – Late rounds, low WR4
Trey Burton – 9th Round, low TE1