The NFC North is stacked with talent from the top all the way to the bottom. The Minnesota Vikings, Green Bay Packers, and Detroit Lions appear to be poised once again to make some noise in the Black and Blue division. However, very little is being said about the Chicago Bears who made some major personnel adjustments this offseason.
If I started to describe a team who had a strong defense and one of the top running backs last season, a second year quarterback who struggled in his rookie year but was given many strong additions to his arsenal of weapons, you may be thinking that I’m talking about last year’s surprise team, the Los Angeles Rams. The truth is, I very well could be, but I’m also describing this year’s Chicago Bears.
Most NFL fans are already familiar with Jordan Howard. Despite his team’s recent struggles the young running back has been one of the best ball carriers of the last two seasons. He has 2,858 yards and 16 touchdowns from scrimmage since entering the league in 2016. He is poised once again to be the team’s bell cow back this season and to help take the pressure off of the rest of the offense as they adjust to their new roles.
The Bears defense has been a little bit more under the radar in recent history but they are a very solid unit who finished in the top 10 last season and could be getting even better in 2018. One of their main concerns at the moment should be getting rookie holdout Roquan Smith under contract and once they do this unit should be extremely explosive.
The strongest focus, however, is on quarterback Mitchell Trubiski whom the Bears traded up for in the 2017 draft. He has struggled with accuracy but has shown enough potential that his team was willing to invest the time and money to go out and get him some weapons this offseason.
Allen Robinson is a beast at wide receiver, who as long as he is healthy, has the chance to be a top five pass catcher in the league. Trey Burton has spent his first four years in the NFL, as a backup, but has shown great ability and is a prime candidate for a breakout this season.
However, the person who gives this team the best chance to succeed is first year head coach Matt Nagy, who was the offensive coordinator for the Kansas City Chiefs. Yes, the very guy responsible for the emergence of Kareem Hunt and Tyreek Hill, for making Alex Smith look like an MVP candidate at times last season, and for embarrassing the New England Patriots in Week 1.
It sounds like a long shot much like it did for the Rams last season, especially, in a division who’s other three teams have experienced leaders at the quarterback position. These Bears have been competitive in quite a few of the games they’ve lost over the last few years and should have a chance to turn a few more of those into victories this year and blow away the expectations most experts have for them. It would be the first time Chicago has made the playoffs since 2010.