The 2019 NFL season did not go the way many Chicago Bears fans would have expected. After reaching the playoffs a year earlier, there was a lot of optimism around Soldier Field. The Bears had to settle for an 8-8 record though, which saw them finish third in the NFC North.
Preparations are now well underway for the upcoming 2020 NFL campaign where Matt Nagy will be hoping his side can bounce back. As of the 9th March, the Bears are +3300 with Betway to win Super Bowl LV, with such long odds reflecting the need for the Bears to improve this season.
Here are five reasons the Bears could be set for a great 2020 season.
David Montgomery Finished The Season Strongly
One of the stars of 2019 for Chicago was David Montgomery. The former Iowa State running back made a smooth transition into the NFL, proving why the Bears drafted him in the third round of the 2019 Draft.
Montgomery finished his rookie season with 889 rushing yards and six rushing touchdowns. In his final game of the year, he rushed for 119 yards against Minnesota Vikings in his side’s 21-19 victory at US Bank Stadium in Minneapolis.
The Bears’ RB should carry that momentum into the new season so expect his numbers to be even better in his second years in the league.
Salary Cap To Work With
Kyle Long, Taylor Gabriel and Prince Amukamara are not on the roster for the Bears in 2020. Long opted for retirement after suffering an injury back in October, while the Bears have parted ways with Gabriel and Amukamara.
General manager Ryan Pace will be looking to use that salary space to improve Chicago’s roster ahead of the 2020 season. Pace reportedly has $26 million to work with which is higher than last season’s Super Bowl teams, the Kansas City Chiefs and San Francisco 49ers.
The Bears have been linked with Hunter Henry and Austin Hooper during Free Agency so that cap space will come in handy in their pursuit of some of the big names in the NFL.
Competition Will Help At QB
Nagy and Pace have both stated that quarterback Mitch Trubisky remains their starter. It will certainly do the young QB and the franchise no harm to create some competition in that position, and that is likely to happen this year.
The 25-year-old, who was the second overall pick in the 2017 NFL Draft, led his team to the playoffs in 2018. He had 17 touchdowns last season and threw for 3,138 yards. Nagy will be challenging his QB to significantly improve on those numbers in 2020.
The Bears have been linked with Andy Dalton, Philip Rivers and Case Keenan in the offseason. A deal for those three players is probably unlikely given the salaries they would require. Expect to see a younger QB to come in to give some competition to Trubisky next season.
NFL Draft Brings About Opportunities To Add Talent
Although the Bears have just two picks from the opening three rounds of the 2020 NFL Draft, it still acts as an opportunity to bring in some excellent talent from college football.
The Bears have done a good job over the last few years at spotting some good talent outside of the first round. A tight end and a safety are likely to be high on the list in Vegas when all 32 teams select 256 players between them.
Anthony Miller Can Excel in 2020
Offensively, the Bears were heavily criticized in 2019 for not scoring enough points and relying too much on their defense to get them out of jail.
One player who did start to shine on offense at the back end of the year was wide receiver Anthony Miller. The second-round pick from the 2018 NFL Draft looks set for a big campaign in 2020.
The highlight last season for Miller was the Thanksgiving game against the Detroit Lions as he had a career-high of nine catches for 10 yards in his side’s excellent 24-20 victory. In week 15, he recorded a touchdown against the Green Bay Packers in another standout performance.
Trubisky will be looking to target Miller much more next year so his numbers should improve, which will be a big plus for his team.
Chicago go into the 2020 campaign looking to win their first playoff game in 10 years. The NFC North title will be their minimum requirement for the season.