The month of June is here and the Chicago Bears will begin their next set of OTA’s starting this week and wrapping up at the end of the month. After that, it will be a few weeks off before they return to Halas Hall for training camp.
As we are just a few months away from the start of the season, Pro Football Talk’s Peter King released his updated power rankings for all 32 NFL teams. King ranked the teams based on where they stand now following offseason moves in free agency, trades and the 2020 NFL Draft.
King labeled the Kansas City Chiefs as his top team followed by Baltimore, New Orleans, San Francisco and Tampa Bay to round out the Top 5. Obviously the additions of Tom Brady and Rob Gronkowski have pushed Tampa Bay into King’s Top 5 but it may have been a little premature to call them one of the favorites in the NFC.
As for the Bears, well King has them just after the Top 15 and coming in at No. 17. Here is what King said on a Bears team that finished 8-8 a year ago:
Good on GM Ryan Pace and coach Matt Nagy to address the elephant in the room by trading for Nick Foles, who might have been the perfect veteran quarterback candidate for the Bears. Foles needs to be one of two things: a Josh McCown-type tutor/mentor for Mitchell Trubisky, or a 16-game starter who can lead the Bears to 10 wins and a playoff spot. Foles can be either—and he won’t be all mopey in any way if he has to sit and help Trubisky reclaim a foundering career. “We’re going to be very honest and open with them,” Nagy said of the QBs. That’s all Trubisky can ask in year four.
Regardless of the outcome of the QB competition—my money is on Foles—the Bears have to forget Trubisky’s head space and roar into a winnable, manageable season. Chicago doesn’t play a 2019 playoff team in its seven games before Halloween, and by the time a killer November (Saints, at Titans, Vikings, at Packers) rolls around, the quarterback dilemma should be solved. I’m more bullish on the Bears than many, in part, because the defensive front should be as good as it was in 2018, when Khalil Mack and Akiem Hicks led a marauding front; now Robert Quinn (11.5 sacks in 14 Dallas games last year) is a third force to offense to worry about. In 33 games of the Nagy Era, the Bears have allowed 18.1 points per game, and there’s no reason to expect that production to go away. If the quarterback’s a B-plus player, the Bears could ride a favorable schedule to the playoffs. That’s a big if.
The Bears have attempted to address their quarterback position with the addition of Nick Foles but if the team wants to make the playoffs, that’s where they have to start. Whoever wins the job needs to be good at the position, especially with a defense that is still in a Super Bowl window.
There are also a few key spots where the Bears have attempted to address needs in wide receiver No. 3, strong safety, tight end and the starting defensive back position opposite of Kyle Fuller. If the Bears get good, consistent play there then they should be a legit contender.