The 2019 season certainly started out as promising for the Chicago Bears. Their 100th season in the NFL league, expectations were high after their 2018 NFL playoff appearance. Their second year under Matt Nagy as head coach, Chicago started strong with a 3-1 lead, before losing their way in weeks 5-9, with four consecutive losses. Despite a strong lead, week 15 saw them lose to the Packers 21-13, and they were finally eliminated from the playoffs by the Minnesota Viking victory against the Chargers.
The Chicago Bears Offseason Activities
Nagy made some organizational decisions, deciding to part ways with defensive coaches Anderson and Staley, who saw the team through their 2018 playoff successes. Their offseason rookie mini-camp started May 3rd with their decision to invite eight key kickers to train. Jamie Kohl, kicking consultant extraordinaire, was bought on to guide the team through their 2019 season. Entering the mini-camp with three kickers in June, Blewitt was then released and left Raiders kicker Eddy Piñeiro and Fry remaining.
Chicago Bears Preseason Play
The preseason began on home-turf against the Carolina Panthers. Despite Fry and Piñeiro’s over 40-yard kicks and Montgomery’s seven-yard touchdown, the Bears lost out 13-23. On the road, they went head to head with the New York Giants and the Indianapolis Colts. Piñeiro made two 25+ yard field goals against the Giants while Fry was released from the team, leaving one kicker remaining and the final score a loss of 32-13. Colts vs Bears saw a resounding 27-17 success to Chicago with Piñeiro’s 58-yard field goal. The final match ended on home turf with a 19-15 victory to the Tennessee Titans. The preseason didn’t stop the Bears from taking the most early bets as super bowl favourites, the Bears being good NFL bets for many off the back their playoffs performance.
Regular Season For The Bears
The Bears started with a 10-3 loss to the Packers but quickly bounced back with 3 wins against the Denver Broncos, Washington Redskins, and the Minnesota Vikings. Victory highlights included Chicago smashing their seven consecutive losses to the Redskins with a 31-15 lead, and Piñeiro’s 38-yard goal with less than two minutes of gameplay left. Reserve linebacker Kwiatkoski also led the defense to success against the Vikings, holding their second-ranked rushing offense from over 190 yards in their previous matches to a mere 40 yards.
Week 5 ensued with a close competition which ultimately saw the Oakland Raiders win 24-21 in the London-based match. Bye week saw tense times ahead for the team with their next opponents having combined wins of over 60%. Chicago hosted New Orleans Saints in Week 7 but lost 36-25. Despite an injury-ridden offense, the Chicago Bears fought on but unfortunately sustained a further two losses in weeks 8-9 in an only 1-point loss against the Los Angeles Chargers and a 22-14 loss against the Philadelphia Eagles.
Weeks 10-14 saw strong play from the Chicago Bears with only one loss against the Rams in Week 11. Week 10 and 13 saw double victories against the Detroit Lions, while Week 12 saw them surpass the Giants with a 19-14 win. In a tense Week 14, Miller’s recovery of Maher’s 8 second-to-spare outside kick saw Chicago’s third victory in a row.
Weeks 15-16 saw the Bears sustain losses again against the Packers and Kansas City Chiefs. In a crippling blow to Chicago Bear fans, the Chargers win against the Vikings confirmed their elimination from the playoffs. Despite this, they still smashed the Vikings in their final match of the season with a 21-19 victory with Piñeiro launching the 22-yard winning field goal, landing them third place in the NFC North Division.
The team secured multiple awards in recognition of their various victories across certain games. Piñeiro secured NFC Special Team Player in Week 2, as well as his victory-kick leading to Snickers bestowing him the title of Hungriest Player of the Week. November saw Patterson win NFC Special Teams Player for that month, the first Bears Player since 2011, while Trubinsky won FedEx Air Player for week 13 gameplay. Patterson, Mack, and Jackson all made starters for the 2020 Pro Bowl.
Although many fans had high hopes with their 2018 division win, the Chicago Bears still pulled it out the bag with a decent third place and final victory against the Vikings. Their near victories of 17-16 to the Chargers and 16-14 to the Broncos may have cost them the playoffs, but remembering triumphs like Piñeiro’s week two awards and Patterson’s Pro Bowl and FedEx wins surely suggest a promising 2020.