Chicago Bears general manager Ryan Pace began 2018 with style. On the first day of the new year, Pace fired former head coach John Fox, then proceeded to watch team CEO Ted Phillips announce that Pace was receiving a contract extension through 2021. During the Fox era, the Bears compiled a measly record of 14-34. This level of incompetence was enough to get one man an extension, while the other was shown the door.
It’s good to be the boss.
However, the boss now knows that his future is tied to new head coach Matt Nagy and second-year quarterback Mitchell Trubisky. 2-3 years to get the team to the playoffs and beyond. Last year, yours truly made some bold predictions that were fairly accurate about the free agent and draft plans up at Halas Hall.
First, I correctly predicted the signing of Mike Glennon back in November 2016.
Now, we fully accept that while the prediction may have been correct, the signing of Mike Glennon was the worst offseason move made in 2016 by any NFL team. It was, at the time, a sound concept – sign a veteran unknown and hope that he allows Trubisky to develop slowly. Glennon was simply the wrong choice to give $19 million in guaranteed money.
Next, I hit the draft pick on the head, well in advance of the 2017 draft…
As bad as the Glennon prediction and recommendation was, this selection was not only spot on but also a pick of quality. For the record, I also almost picked the correct overall 2016 record for the Bears, as well as Jay Cutler’s ultimate demise.
This brings us to the official midpoint of the offseason. It is now time for this omniscient scribe to predict the Chicago Bears record for the 2018 regular season. Despite the excitement of Trubisky’s growth, the continued improvement of the defense under defensive coordinator Vic Fangio, a new offensive scheme and multiple weapons and speed, the Chicago Bears will fall short of the playoffs yet again with a record of 6-10.
Will they show improvement? Absolutely.
Does the defensive unit have a chance to be among the best in the NFL? Yes.
Is the NFC North the most talented conference in football? Yes.
The Bears schedule is very challenging, and the learning curve for Nagy’s new offense is steep.
Here is how I see it breaking down:
The Chicago Bears 2018 schedule appears much less friendly than 2017 with more Rams, Patriots and improved teams like the 49ers and Bills on the docket. If Nagy and the staff can maintain a .500 record in the NFC North (no small accomplishment), an improved Bears team has a small chance to steal a few late in the year.
Playoffs? Wait for 2019, my friends.