Predicting the NFC North Standings in 2020: Pre-Training Camp Edition

Khalil Mack, Bears
Mike DiNovo-USA TODAY Sports

4th – Chicago Bears

It’s time to face the facts: whether or not Mitchell Trubisky actually has what it takes, all the signs indicate that the Chicago Bears have given up on him. The acquisition of Nick Foles was a clear display of power from the front office, and with general manager Ryan Pace already stating that there would be an open competition for the job, the fragile confidence of Trubisky has likely only sunk even further.

The Bears’ confusing 2019 featured several wins against lesser competition and poor showings against stronger teams. A 4-2 record in the division was bolstered by a weak season from Detroit, and a fortunate NFC East schedule left the Giants and Redskins as easy fodder for a Chicago team with a strong defense.

However, despite finding a future cornerstone in David Montgomery and finally locking in a true No. 1 receiver in Allen Robinson (who was targeted a ludicrous 154 times, third in the NFL), the Bears could never find an identity, and Trubisky’s struggles continued to the tune of a paltry 209 yards per game and a 40.6 QBR.

If the Bears have any hope of improving, it lies almost solely on the arms of their dueling quarterbacks. Whether Trubisky or Foles is lining up behind a center, it will take a much improved season at the position to bring this team into relevance.

The Khalil Mack trade that drained so much draft capital from the Bears has continued to rear its ugly head, as the team continues to lack the picks needed to put better targets down the field. Notre Dame tight end Cole Kmet is the newest experiment, taken with the 43rd overall pick by Chicago, and expected to drastically improve a tight end group that did not see a single player record over 100 yards for the season.

For the Bears to have any semblance of respectability in 2020, they will have to make a push early. They have several toss-up games early on against the Lions, the Giants, Falcons, Colts, and Panthers; without several wins in this early stretch, their season will be over before it begins, as the remainder of the year continues to get tougher.

Divisional games will prove difficult across the board and will be weighed down more by contests against the Rams, Titans, Saints, and Texans. If the quarterback situation isn’t figured out quickly, expect the Bears to be selecting their next franchise quarterback near the top of the 2021 draft.

Official Prediction: 5-11