The Chicago Bears travel to Detroit to take on the Lions. We make predictions on the Week 1 matchup.
NFL football is back! The Chicago Bears open the season this Sunday in Detroit, taking on the Lions. After all the questions and doubts about whether or not the season would even start on time, let alone start at all, the season is here. Now, let’s see if the season continues without COVID-19 troubles.
For now, though, let’s take things one week at a time. The Bears face their division rivals, the Lions. Head coach Matt Nagy made the decision to stay with Mitchell Trubisky as the starting quarterback. That decision generated a lot of moans from Bears Nation. Without Foles making a convincing argument for the job, however, there was no other choice. Trubisky didn’t wow the coaches himself but did just enough to win the job. Now we need to see if he does enough to keep the job.
After all the talk and all the speculation, we finally get to see real football action and find out if the Bears made the right decisions on the roster. We’ll find out if this team is closer to the 2018 version or the version that underperformed in 2019.
In the meantime, let’s make some predictions for Week 1.
The defense shows its dominance right from the start
The Chicago Bears want to show off its dominant defense as soon as the referees blow the first whistle. After missing half the season in 2019, Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford returns. He’s had his struggles against the Bears, however.
Stafford is 10-8 against the Bears but he lost his last two games against them. He has 28 touchdown passes but also has 21 interceptions. His 85.4 passer rating is his lowest against his division rivals. The Bears sacked him 46 times, the second-most versus any team.
The Bears are eager to show how much they improved their pass rush. They added Robert Quinn, a former All-Pro pass rusher. Also, the most important piece of the defense, Akiem Hicks, is healthy again and ready to go. His absence caused a huge hole in the defense. All-World pass rusher Khalil Mack is certainly happy to see Hicks. He had 4.5 sacks in the first four games last season. Once Hicks went down and missed the rest of the season, Mack recorded only four sacks. With a healthy Hicks and now with Quinn on the other side, Mack is ready to go wild and create havoc again. That’ll start with Detroit in Week 1.
Prediction: Don’t be surprised if Mack gets three sacks.
Playing against the Lions is good for Trubisky
Trubisky won the quarterback battle but he has a tenuous hold on the job. With his history, Nagy will have a short leash on him. Once Trubisky starts struggling as he did before, Nagy has full confidence in backup Nick Foles to take over and do a good job. He has experience with Foles both in Philadelphia and Kansas City so he knows what he has in him.
Nagy won’t have to worry about a quick hook in this game. Trubisky plays well against the Lions. He lost his first two games against them but now rides a three-game winning streak. He completed 70 percent of his passes, the most against any of his division rivals. His 1,359 passing yards are the most against any team he’s played against.
Trubisky has 11 passing touchdowns against the Lions. He has just six combined against the other NFC North rivals. He enjoys playing against the Lions.
This is a good game to start off the season right for Trubisky. He has the opportunity to perform well and gain more confidence. If he does, it bodes well for him going on. If he struggles, though, Foles better be warming up to step in and take over sooner rather than later.
Prediction: Trubisky eclipses 300 yards passing and throws 3 touchdowns.
Allen Robinson shows why the Bears need to re-sign him
One of the questions the Bears left unanswered this offseason was wide receiver Allen Robinson‘s contract situation. He’s on the final year of the contract he signed in 2018 as a free agent.
Even though Robinson still has to play the 2020 season, he’s earned every penny of what the Bears paid him. In his first season, he was still trying to come back from the devastating knee injury he suffered in 2017. While he didn’t have the stats you’d expect from a number one receiver (754 receiving yards and 4 touchdowns), but had a terrific playoff game (10 catches, 143 yards, and a touchdown).
In 2019, Robinson was completely healthy and showed how good he is. He finished the season with 1,147 receiving yards and 7 touchdowns. Really good considering how much Trubisky struggled throughout the season.
The Bears need to stop playing around and get a deal done. Many people point out that the team is in salary cap hell and the cap for next year might actually go down instead of up. Well, tell that to the Kansas City Chiefs fans. Back in March, the team had $171 in salary cap space. That isn’t a misprint, they had exactly $171 in cap space. Since then, though, they signed quarterback Patrick Mahomes to the biggest contract in sports history and gave tight end Travis Kelce and defensive lineman Chris Jones massive extensions.
Robinson will be motivated to show that he deserves that extension. It begins against the Lions.
Prediction: Robinson finishes the game with 136 receiving yards and a touchdown.