Home games: NY Giants, Indianapolis, Tampa Bay, New Orleans, Minnesota, Detroit, Houston, Green Bay.
Road games: Detroit, Atlanta, Carolina, LA Rams, Tennessee, Green Bay, Minnesota, Jacksonville.
Projected record: 7-9
The Bears are an interesting case study.
Two seasons ago, led by a powerhouse defence, Chicago produced a 12-4 record but lost in the NFC Wild Card clash with defending champs, Philly.
Last season, their play dipped across the board. The defence was nowhere near as dominant and young quarterback Mitch Trubisky showed glaring weaknesses which led to much criticism and questions about his future in Chi Town.
This off-season, the Bears declined picking up the quarterback’s fifth-year option and also decided to bring in Nick Foles on a healthy contract, albeit a far less certain one than what he had signed in Jacksonville. Regardless of the numbers, Foles has done this before and seems well suited to starting out as a back-up with little expectation before being called upon later in the season.
Trubisky will likely get the green light to open the season but it will be surprising not to see Foles at some point.
Rookie DB Jaylon Johnson joins a strong secondary, headed by Kyle Fuller and Eddie Jackson whilst we all know what Khalil Mack is capable of up front.
Veterans Jimmy Graham and Tedd Ginn Jr arrive in the Windy City but you’d expect them to be no more than bit players at this point. Allen Robinson needs to continue to be a go-to-guy and David Montgomery will be asked to excel as a lead back.
The ingredients are there, we’ve seen what this Bears squad can do when the defence rolls and the offence (namely the quarterback) makes enough plays so the hopes of this team are in the laps of Mitchell or Nick – or both.