By: Jay Patel
It’s amazing to see how many people believe the Chicago Bears will slump to the bottom of the standings. Behind the Lions in the NFC North? Same record as the Washington Redskins? I don’t know what facilitated these wild thoughts. The Chicago Bears are underdogs in 2020, but that will help them shine.
There has been so much negativity for the Bears this off-season. Why? Call every media outlet in the world because the Bears have nine tight ends on their active roster. Who cares? Not all nine of those TE’s are going to be on the opening day roster. Jimmy Graham (more on him later), Cole Kmet, Demetrius Harris, and one more TE will give the Bears a solid and stable tight end group that will turn a team weakness into a strength. I don’t know why there is such a big deal on how many TE’s a team has before the season even starts.
Yes, the Bears had one of the worst TE groups last season. That’s why GM Ryan Pace spent as much as he did to go get Graham, and draft Kmet with their first pick in the draft. Pace is known to be an aggressive GM, and he showed it when completely overhauling the tight end position. The contract for Graham may have been a slight overpay, but the number of players who are overpaid in the NFL is always growing (Josh Norman, Brock Osweiler, like 20 offensive lineman, and many more). Getting Graham for $8 million a season is not a tough pill to swallow. His contract is short, and the Bears won’t be paying him for the next five years. His production has dipped, but a change of scenery, and new offensive scheme can hopefully change that.
It seems to me that a lot of folks have forgotten about the Bears Top-5 defense. Yes, it’s Top-5 @CBS. The Bears boast one of the best fronts in the game with Khalil Mack, Akiem Hicks, Eddie Goldman, Robert Quinn, Danny Trevathan, and Roquan Smith. That’s a tenacious group. The secondary isn’t so bad either with ball-hawking safety Eddie Jackson, shut-down corner Kyle Fuller, veteran Tashaun Gipson, and a young-stud in Jaylon Johnson (my pick to earn the No. 2 CB spot). Khalil Mack and Eddie Jackson are great candidates for a comeback season. The Bears defense endured a slight step back in Chuck Pagano’s first season, but it will be a different story this season.
Now, the main reason everybody thinks the Bears are not contenders. A stable QB. Nick Foles was brought in to push inconsistent Mitchell Trubisky to his limits. His fifth-year option was already declined, so 2020 is Trubisky’s last chance to make it with the Bears. Honestly, I hope Trubisky wins the competition and takes the Bears far. It would be a great feeling to see everybody proven wrong. I’m still a firm believer in Trubisky. Just give the man a stable O-line and a decent run game, he can take off. At worst for Trubisky, Foles wins the job, but the Bears will still have a Top-5 backup QB in the league (given Foles injury history, this is key). And vice versa, Foles will give the Bears a solid backup option.
Everybody can keep shoving the Bears aside in 2020, but it won’t be easy. The Monsters of the Midway will return with eyes on revenge. Big seasons await for Khalil Mack, Eddie Jackson, David Montgomery, and even Mitchell Trubisky. 2020 will be a revenge tour for the Chicago Bears, and the NFL should be on high alert.