The Chicago Bears squeezed into the playoffs back in January despite finishing in second place in the NFC North with an 8-8 record.
Matt Nagy’s team was able to pull this off despite issues at quarterback which concluded with Mitchell Trubisky being moved onto the Buffalo Bills this off-season just four years after the Bears took him ahead of Patrick Mahomes in the draft.
The quarterback situation looks a lot stronger following a few transactions in recent months, despite a failed attempt to trade for Seattle’s Russell Wilson. However, the Bears are still only 4/1 to win the NFC North with sports betting Maine. This makes them third favorites, with Green Bay at 1/1 and the Minnesota Vikings 3/1.
With the 11th overall pick in this year’s draft, Chicago took Justin Fields out of Ohio State. The highly-rated youngster may have to wait his time for the starting role though, as Nick Foles himself finds competition with the free-agent signing of Andy Dalton. Healthy competition.
Let it be known that trading up for offensive tackle Tevin Jenkins out of Oklahoma State is a good move on paper. Many scouts had projected Jenkins to be taken in the first round but ended up at Chicago as the number 39 overall pick.
Jenkins is a player with a mean streak. He enjoys burying defenders in the running game and has exceptional hand grip. When he gets his hands on his opponent it is all over.
David Montgomery is a somewhat underrated running back around the league. He provides good power in the backfield that wears opponents down for the second half. Damien Williams has also been picked up during free agency having reached the Super Bowl in both his seasons with the Kansas City Chiefs.
The receiving corps hasn’t been the strongest in recent years and it currently isn’t in a great shape either. Marquise Goodwin, Damiere Byrd, Allen Robinson, and Anthony Miller are all on the books.
Nagy and his coaches may have got a steal in round six of this year’s draft. Thomas Graham Jr. from the Oregon Ducks is a solid athlete who could be a starter at slot cornerback as early as week 1. He has incredible instincts and is very engaged in the run game. Graham is technically sound and is reliable in locating the ball.
Chicago is already strong in the cornerback role and should be strong defensively again next season too.
Can the Chicago Bears reach the playoffs?
The Green Bay Packers have reached the NFC Championship for back-to-back years and should Aaron Rodgers extend his stay at Lambeau Field then they will certainly be the team to beat in the NFC North again in 2021.
Surprisingly they didn’t make any big moves at receiver, allowing Julio Jones to join the Tennessee Titans after leaving the Atlanta Falcons. They had an excellent run game last season too.
Minnesota have been a bit hit and miss in recent seasons – a number of talented defenders on the roster and a healthy Delvin Cook is hard to stop at running back.
Expect a tough battle in the North this upcoming season. Chicago have every reason to believe they can make the playoffs but it would most likely have to be via the wildcard round.