Head Coach: Matt Nagy
2020 Record: 8-8
2020 was, to say the least, an odd year for Da Bears. A 5-1 start had fans talking Super Bowl, but then came an almost 2 month long losing streak. 3 wins in a row and loss to the Packers, along with some help, and those Bears had slipped into the playoffs at 8-8.
Looking back at the season, it’s not hard to see what happened. That 5-1 start? Wins over Detroit, Atlanta, Carolina, the Giants, and a Tampa team that was still getting their feet under them. The 3 game win streak? Houston, Jacksonville, and Minnesota. The Bears were exactly what 8-8 looks like, and what they’ve been for years. An average team with a good D that feasts on lesser competition and can’t keep up with good teams.
The biggest issue? QB. Mitch Trubisky wasn’t the answer, and neither was Nick Foles. Long story short? Different year, same ole’ Bears.
2021 Draft Picks
1-11 QB Justin Fields, Ohio State
2 T Teven Jenkins, Oklahoma State
5-151 T Larry Borom, Missouri
6-217 RB Khalil Herbert, Virginia Tech
6-221 WR Dazz Newsome, North Carolina
6-228 DB Thomas Graham, Oregon
7-250 NT Khyiris Tonga, Brigham Young
Dwayne Haskins, , Cardale Jones, Braxton Miller, Terrelle Pryor, Troy Smith, Craig Krenzel. What do those names have in common? Those are the QBs Ohio State has sent to the NFL in recent years. There are 2 national championships and a Heisman thrown in there. And collectively, they have all done next to nothing in the NFL. Ohio State recruits a certain type of QB, and they tend to tear it up in college and suck at the next level. So be forewarned, Bears fans.
That being said, the gem of this draft will probably be Jenkins, who is a beast on the O-Line Aside from that, there are some potential role players.
Mitchell Trubisky – QB (to Bills)
Cordarrelle Patterson – RB/WR (to Falcons)
Anthony Miller – WR (to Texans)
Kyle Fuller – CB (to Broncos)
Patterson will really be missed, but that’s mostly as a returner. Trubisky was sent packing. Fuller was a cap casualty, and one that hurt.
Key Pick Ups
Andy Dalton – QB (from Cowboys)
Damien Williams – RB (from Chiefs)
Desmond Trufant – CB (from Lions)
Dalton very well might not even start a game, although a veteran waiting on the bench is never a bad thing at QB. Trufant will help the D immediately, and Williams will give needed depth to the RB stable.
Offensive Coordinator: Bill Lazor
2020 Points Scored: 372 (T-22nd)
The Bears’ O is just an average unit top to bottom. The line was a real weakness in 2020, and had a hard time keeping QBs off of their backsides. They didn’t do much to improve in the offseason for this year, so expect them to look pretty similar to last year’s version. Dalton isn’t anything more than a game manager, and Fields, while looking good in the pre-season isn’t going to put this team over the top.
Defensive Coordinator: Sean Desai
2020 Points Allowed: 370 (14th)
The D has been a staple for the Bears for years, but this isn’t the same D we’re used to. They’re still decent, but they don’t do well against better teams. The days of this being a good enough unit to carry the team and overcome a bad offense are past. The once dominant pass rush has become average, and losing Kyle Fuller could be huge. Still a top half of the NFL D, but no longer anything special.
K Cairo Santo and P Pat O’Donnell emerged in 2020 as one of the best 1-2 kicking combos in the NFL, and both are back. The coverage team was average, and looks to be similar in 2021. With Patterson off to Atlanta, a new return specialist will need to be settled on, though a committee approach seems likely.
If Things Go Well
If Dalton or Fields does emerge and put together a solid year, the Bears could at least be in the playoff conversation. They’ll need to lean on the running game and play ball control; the D is still good enough to hold up if they can.
If They Don’t
If QB is a disaster… and that’s a distinct possibility, the Bears regression will continue. That D isn’t good enough to hold up if they’re finding themselves on the field for 35-40 minutes per game. It’s next to impossible to win in today’s NFL without at least an efficient offense.
There isn’t anything from the offseason to make 2021 look all that promising. Unless Dalton shines… which is doubtful, or Fields puts on a Rookie of the year type show, it’ll be a long year by the lake.
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