The Chicago Bears had a down year last season, following a 12-4 season and first playoff appearance and division title in a decade in 2018. We all know how their season ended that year with Cody Parkey’s double-doink.
Matt Nagy’s second season as head coach of the Bears has them slip from the top of the NFC North to third place with an 8-8 record. Will Nagy be able to turn it around in year three?
Before we dive into the roster, let’s take a look at the offseason moves made by the Bears.
Key Additions: QB Nick Foles, WR Ted Ginn Jr., TE Jimmy Graham, TE Demetrius Harris, OT Jason Spriggs, G Germain Ifedi, OLB Robert Quinn, OLB Barkevious Mingo, CB Artie Burns, S Tashaun Gipson, and CB Jaylon Johnson
Key Losses: QB Chase Daniel, WR Taylor Gabriel, TE Trey Burton, G Kyle Long, G Ted Larsen, DT Nick Williams, OLB Leonard Floyd, OLB Aaron Lynch, ILB Nick Kwiatkoski, ILB Kevin Pierre-Louis, CB Prince Amukamara, and S Ha Ha Clinton-Dix.
Now, let’s carve into the Bears roster.
Starter: Mitchell Trubisky
Backups: Nick Foles and Tyler Bray
The Bears made a splash by acquiring Nick Foles from the Jaguars this offseason. Mitchell Trubisky has struggled over the start of his career and doubts have emerged about whether he can be their franchise QB and live up to the No. 2 pick potential.
Trubisky’s fifth year option has been declined by Chicago and this is his last chance to prove something to every NFL team. He is going to start at the beginning of the season, but he will be on a short leash with Foles ready to take over.
We all remember what happened the last time Foles was a backup. He came in and took over for Wentz and led the Eagles to their first Super Bowl Championship in franchise history. If Trubisky struggles early on, Foles will take over for the Bears.
Starter: David Montgomery
Backups: Tarik Cohen, Ryan Nall, and Artavis Pierce
Montgomery is entering his second season in the league, following a solid rookie campaign, recording over 1,000 total scrimmage yards and seven touchdowns. He has proved to be a hard runner and a great piece for the Bears after they traded Jordan Howard to the Eagles last year.
His sidekick, Tarik Cohen, has been a key piece for the Bears offense the past couple of years. He is more of a receiving threat and he proved that in 2018, tallying 725 receiving yards and five touchdowns. He was a First-Team All-Pro selection in 2018 as well. Cohen took a step back last year, but he looks to regain traction as receiving threat out of the backfield.
Starters: Allen Robinson, Anthony Miller, and Ted Ginn Jr.
Backups: Cordarrelle Patterson, Javon Wims, Riley Ridley, and Darnell Mooney
Allen Robinson bounced back from a tough first year in Chicago with his second career 1,000-yard season with seven touchdowns. He set a career-high in receptions last year with 98 as well. He has returned to his WR1 form, following his ACL injury in 2017.
Anthony Miller has become a solid WR2 options for the Bears in only two seasons. In his rookie year, he put up seven touchdowns. Despite only scoring twice last year, he set career-highs in receiving yards and receptions. Miller looks to continue his development and become a bigger contributor in the offense.
Ted Ginn joins the Bears, following the past three years in New Orleans. Ginn replaces Taylor Gabriel in the slot, but also possesses elite speed and deep threat ability.
Starter: Jimmy Graham
Backups: Cole Kmet, Demetrius Harris, Adam Shaheen, Ben Braunecker
Jimmy Graham has been given another chance to revive his career with the Bears after his release from Green Bay this offseason. He had only 447 yards and three touchdowns last year on 38 receptions last season. Graham will be competing with second-round pick, Cole Kmet, for the starting role.
Kmet comes from Notre Dame and was one of the best tight ends in the draft. In 10 games last year with the Fighting Irish, Kmet recorded 515 yards and six touchdowns through the air. Chicago also added Demetrius Harris, who has played for the Chiefs and Browns in his career.
Starters: Charles Leno (LT), James Daniels (LG), Cody Whitehair (C), Germain Ifedi (RG), Bobby Massie (RT)
Backups: Jason Spriggs, Corey Levin, Rashaad Coward, Alex Bars, Sam Mustipher, Lachavious Simmons, and Arlington Hambright
The Bears offensive line struggled a lot last year. They allowed a lot of pressures and sacks. The average time to pressure was 2.37 seconds last year. That is terrible and it ranked 29th in the league.
Trubisky was sacked 38 times last season, and has been sacked 93 times over his three year career. The line has struggled and the Bears realized that as they added two offensive lineman in the seventh round of the draft.
For the Bears to succeed over the course of this season, the line is going to have to improve and play better for them to get back to their 2018 success.
Starters: Akiem Hicks, Eddie Goldman, Bilal Nichols
Backups: Roy Robertson-Harris, Jon Jenkins, Abdullah Anderson, and Trevis Gipson
The Bears defensive line returns two of their top contributors with Hicks and Goldman. Those two have a combined 46 sacks and 101 QB Hits over their careers. These two will be the anchor of the front line as they look to continue their reign as one of the best defense in the league.
Nichols will take over at one of the DE positions after starting 15 games for the Bears last year in his second season.
Starters: Khalil Mack, Roquan Smith, Robert Quinn, and Danny Trevathan
Backups: Rashad Smith, Joel Iyiegbuniwe, Barkevious Mingo, and Josh Woods
The Bears strongest position is at LB. This group is one of the best in the league, as Khalil Mack is a former NFL Defensive Player of the Year and three-time First-Team All-Pro, Roquan Smith is trending upwards towards stardom, Robert Quinn had a revitalization of his career with Dallas last year as he has 11.5 sacks, and Danny Trevathan is still playing at a high level, despite his injury last year.
The losses of Nick Kwiatkoski and Kevin Pierre-Louis hurt the overall depth here, but the group should see improvement with an upgrade in the pass rush with addition of Quinn.
Starters: Kyle Fuller and Buster Skrine
Backups: Jaylon Johnson, Artie Burns, Kindle Vildor, and Tre Roberson
The CB position for the Bears was thin before the draft. They added Jaylon Johnson out of Utah in the second round in April’s draft. He brings size and physicality to the group
Artie Burns is a four-year veteran that was signed early in the offseason. He is coming off an injury and will look to become a key depth piece for the Bears defense.
Kyle Fuller has become one of the league’e best CBs. In 2018, he led the league in interceptions (7) and passes defensed (21), earning a First-Team All-Pro selection. Over his five year career, he has 74 passes defensed and 18 interceptions. Last season, he set a career-highs in tackles as well with 82. Fuller does it all at the CB position and is primed for another big year.
Buster Skrine is a valuable asset for the Bears. He has 82 career passes defensed and has proved to be solid in coverage. He will have a starter role this year and is looking to bring his veteran experience to the team.
Starters: Eddie Jackson and Tashaun Gipson
Backups: Jordan Lucas, Deon Bush, DeAndre Houston-Carson
The safety position is another strong area for the Bears defense. Eddie Jackson is one of the best safeties in the entire league. In only three seasons, he has had 10 interceptions and 26 passes defensed. He is a crucial contributor to the secondary along with Kyle Fuller and those two will lead the back end of the defense.
Tashaun Gipson has joined the Bears after playing last season with the Texans. He was a big piece of the Jaguars defense in 2017, when they made an AFC Championship appearance. He brings a mixture of solid coverage and physicality to the safety unit.
The Bears also re-signed Deon Bush, who started eight games for the Bears over his first four seasons, and added Jordan Lucas from the Chiefs.
Starters: Eddy Pineiro (K), Pat O’Donnell (P), Patrick Scales (LS)
Pineiro is back with the Bears for a second season after a solid 2019 campaign and looks to keep his starting role.
The Bears biggest question mark this season is at QB. Will Trubisky finally break out of his shell or will Nick Foles come in and take over? The defense is going to be one of the league’s best once again. Khalil Mack will lead the defense for another season and look to have a bounce back year after one of the worst seasons in his career.