After struggling and finishing with a record of 8-8 in 2019, the Chicago Bears look to bounce back in 2020 and compete for the NFC North title. Here is why they’ll accomplish that.
After coming off a 12-4 record and the NFC North Title in 2018, the Chicago Bears entered 2019 with high expectations and a chance to win back-to-back NFC North titles. Bears fans were so amped up for the 2019 season, but it didn’t go as expected. The team went 8-8 and struggled throughout the year.
Now we enter the 2020 season and the team looks improved. Yes, I said improved. General manager Ryan Pace made it a priority to add to both the offense and defense this offseason. It all started in free agency.
Now, here’s why I think the Chicago Bears will make the playoffs in 2020 and will compete for an NFC North title.
Improved the offense during the offseason
Well, Bears fans know how the offense panned out during the 2019 season. The offensive line struggled, which made Mitchell Trubisky struggle. It was just a mess. Oh, and our tight end group was just terrible. Head coach Matt Nagy’s play-calling last year was also questionable.
So, heading into the offseason, Pace and Nagy knew something had to change on the offensive side of the ball for this team to get back into the playoffs.
Pace traded for former Super Bowl MVP, Nick Foles, sending a fourth-round pick to the Jacksonville Jaguars. Bringing in competition for Trubisky could actually be a good thing for the offense. Foles was brought in because he knows Nagy’s system, and has a better grasp of that system than Trubisky.
Knowing how the tight end group struggled all of 2019, Pace felt improving the unit had to be at the top of his list entering free agency and the draft. He brought in Jimmy Graham because of his veteran presence and Production. Even though he didn’t have a great 2019 (447 yards and 3 touchdowns), he still outperformed the entire Chicago Bears tight ends combined (395 yards and 2 touchdowns).
The Chicago Bears made another move at the tight end position. In the draft, with the 43rd overall pick, the team selected Notre Dame tight end Cole Kmet.
Kmet rated as the top tight end in this year’s class. Heading into the 2020 season, the Bears tight ends group looks better.
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Additionally, the offensive line needed major help. Not the ideal additions but they’ll have to do, as Pace went out and signed from Seattle Seahawks, Germain Ifedi to a one-year contract. Ifedi looks to be the starter at the right guard position but he’ll have some competition as the Bears’ still have Alex Bars on the roster.
The Bears also signed Jason Spriggs to a one-year contract. Again, not the ideal signing, but it’s better than what they had in 2019.
Nagy wanted to add speed to the wide receiver position so Pace went out and signed Ted Ginn Jr. who could arguably be the fastest receiver in the entire NFL. Not only did they add Ginn Jr. but they also drafted speedy receiver Darnell Mooney in the fifth round of the draft.
Pace added to an already top tier defense
Pace added to an already top tier defense. At the start of free agency, Pace went out and signed all-pro defensive end Robert Quinn to a 5-year $70 million dollar contract with $30 million guaranteed. Quinn, playing on the opposite side of Khalil Mack, will be very deadly and very dangerous for opposing offenses.
With the loss of Ha Ha-Clinton Dix, the Bears decided to move Eddie Jackson back to his more natural free safety spot. Because of that move, Pace went out and signed Tashaun Gipson to a one-year contract worth $1.05 million to play strong safety. Gipson next to Eddie Jackson could be a very good duo, but we’ll see how it pans out.
The Bears didn’t have a first-round pick due to the Mack trade in 2018. Considering how great he is, Bears fans were okay with that. So, with the second of their two second-round picks, Pace selected cornerback Jaylon Johnson out of the University of Utah.
Johnson was a first-round talent but the Bears ended up snagging him in the second round. That could be an absolute steal. He’ll be able to come right into training camp and compete for the other starting outside cornerback, on the opposite side of Kyle Fuller.
This Bears’ defense in 2020 can be even better than it was in 2018 and 2019. It could be one of the most dominant defenses in recent memory.
Strength of schedule
With the Bears finishing in third place in the division during the 2019 season. That means they’ll be playing an easier schedule. If they stay relatively healthy and the additions fit in well, it makes the path to the playoffs easier.
The Chicago Bears should finish with a 10-6 record and an NFC North title in 2020. Yes, that is a possibility. Let’s hope this proves to be true at the end of the regular season.