Welcome to the PSF/ TDOIA NFL team previews. For the next month we will try and preview all 32 teams in the NFL. The article will be broken down into three sections, a review of the teams previous season and offseason additions. Then a roster breakdown and finally a record prediction and expectations. Let’s fly.
The Bears finished last year with a record of five and eleven. Resulting in the firing of head coach Jon Fox and the subsequent hiring of Matt Nagy. Nagy comes from the Andy Ried coaching tree and has been praised for his offensive mind. An offensive mind is certainly what Mitchell Trubisky needs. In 12 starts Trubisky threw for seven touchdowns and seven interceptions. On tape you can see flashes of Aaron Rodgers in Trubisky but you can also see an ability to use his legs to his detriment. Trubisky was skittish in a pocket, that to be fair was always collapsing, and sometimes ran himself into sacks. The offensive line had major injury problems last year and it showed. Trubisky was sacked 31 times last year. However the other issue for Trubisky was a lack of targets to throw too. The Bears went out and found Trubisky that help this offseason which brings us to this years roster.
The Bears receiving core was practically extinct last year, so the Bears went out and grabbed several great wide outs via free agency. The biggest of those being former Jaguars wide out Allen Robinson and former Falcons target Taylor Gabriel. Then in the draft the Bears snagged Memphis pass catcher Anthony Miller in the second round, a player some scouts touted as the best receiver in the draft. Former Bronco Bennie Fowler also joined the team, Fowler had success in Denver as the fourth wide out on the roster and his 6’1 frame provides a great mark for Trubisky to throw to. These targets give Trubisky no excuse. The Bears have given him a plethora of weapons if he struggles it is on him.
While adding receivers is helpful to Trubisky to develop a young QB you also need a running game. The Bears are blessed with Jordan Howard, a runner I believe to be the most under rated in the leauge. Howards vision and cutting is insane not to mention he’s a power back with those attributes. The Bears pass catching back will be last years break out, late round, Mr. Excitement Tarik Cohen. Who will get plenty of chances to light it up in Nagy’s offense.
The Bears biggest potential weakness by far is the offensive line. Kyle Long is an excellent player but has had major injury struggles the past few years. Bobby Massy struggles with pass blocking and often needs help. While James Daniels showed tremendous potential at Iowa, it is generally hard for rookie linemen to adjust to the NFL right away. The whole line struggles with pass blocking, outside of Long, and is injury prone. If there is a fatal flaw to this team it is the offensive line.
Though I just wrote some great things about the offense it is worth mentioning it’s completely unproven. On paper it looks great but there is a good chance it doesn’t gel into a Rams renaissance as most Bears fan’s hope. The real strength of this team is the defense. Eddie Goldman and Akiem Hicks are game changing pass rushers up front. The tandem combined for ten sacks last year, both are excellent run stuffers. The linebacking core is absoloutely stacked, Leonard Floyd is due for a break out season after looking promising last year and some analysts are already touting rookie Roquan Smith as an all pro. The proven Danny Trevathan solidifies the linebacking core that should be one of the best in the leauge this coming year. The unsung heroes of this team though are the secondary. Prince Amukamara finished last year as a top fifteen corner in the leauge. Kyle Fuller is a top ten shut down corner and Eddie Jackson had a break out season at safety along side Adrian Amos, assuming those two make a jump this could well be a top five defense by the end of the year.
The Bears are such an interesting team, they could be a division winner or a 6-7-win team. No matter what this team is going to be fun to watch. The expectations Bears fans should have for this team are to be competitive in every game they play and challenge for a wild card spot.
Record Prediction: 8-8