Can Chicago Bears build on breakout 2018 campaign?

The Chicago Bears saw a big improvement in the 2018 season under first-year head coach Matt Nagy, ending their seven-year playoff and NFC North title drought. Under John Fox, the Bears had struggled immensely, finishing fourth three seasons in a row. General manager Ryan Pace looked to the Kansas City Chiefs as the solution, hiring Nagy, who had served as their offensive coordinator for two years, to revive the fortunes for the ailing franchise.

Pace boosted Nagy’s cause with a bold trade to acquire former NFL Defensive Player of the Year Khalil Mack from the Oakland Raiders, giving up sizable draft capital in the deal. The addition of Mack and Nagy’s ability to develop Mitchell Trubisky transformed the Bears from basement dwellers in the NFC to Super Bowl contenders. Although the season ended in disappointment for the Bears, there’s a lot of hope for the future in Chicago, having secured their first 12-win season since 2006, which earned Nagy the Coach of the Year award.

As a result of their recent success, Chicago is a legit contender for the Vince Lombardi Trophy in 2019. History is not on the side of the Bears, making them a slight outsider for the crown in the betting odds behind the New Orleans Saints, Los Angeles Rams and the Philadelphia Eagles.

Therefore, it would be prudent to take out as much risk as possible when punting on the Super Bowl LIV, exploring the use of free bets with Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. The price for the Bears’ hopes of lifting the crown will never be as valuable as it is in this early stage of the off-season, therefore, it’s the perfect time to capitalize by signing up and using the added security provided by a free bet. There are unknowns in the NFC North, although the Green Bay Packers always a threat with Aaron Rodgers, while Kirk Cousins’ second season at the Minnesota Vikings will be interesting to watch.

Chicago Bears’ Khalil Mack warms up before an NFL football game against the Green Bay Packers Sunday, Sept. 9, 2018, in Green Bay, Wis. (AP Photo/Jeffrey Phelps) ORG XMIT: WIMG1

Even with Nagy’s coaching skill and the outstanding defense, Chicago faces a challenge to return to the postseason in 2019. The loss of defensive coordinator Vic Fangio is a blow. Adrian Amos will be a priority re-signing while adding complementary players to the secondary behind Kyle Fuller and Prince Amukamara will also be important. However, the front seven promises to be one of the most dominant in the NFL again. Before the New England Patriots shut down the Rams in Super Bowl LIII, the Bears proved that they were just as capable. That will be a key element moving forward.

The offense suffered from a lack of talent in the receiving corps. Taylor Gabriel did enjoy the best season of his career in 2018, although he is more of a third option. Allen Robinson has had issues with consistency, drifting in and out of games. Anthony Miller could be the one to watch, as the second-round pick could develop into the all-around threat that Chicago could use to open up the offense. Jordan Howard and Tarik Cohen are the perfect one-two punch in the backfield, offering the diverse skill set needed to cause mismatches.

But Chicago’s success will all flow through Trubisky.

Jared Goff’s performance in the Super Bowl proved that a fine-tuned offense can fall apart if the quarterback struggles. Trubisky had similar issues in 2018 and his development will be the decisive factor in whether the Bears are able to build on their campaign or drop back into mediocrity.

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