4 storylines stood out when I looked at the Bears’ schedule. Some are about where they’ll be by that point in the season, while others are literally a century old. Here’s how I think they’ll turn out.
Packers Bookend the Season
The longest rivalry in the league finally takes a turn from Bears fans being annoyed by Aaron Rodgers twice a year. There is real mystery around what Jordan Love can be. If you ask Packers’ twitter, he’ll be walking on water and delivering sermons from mounds by week 3. The logical answer is he’s essentially a first year QB who will have first year struggles even if he’s a future hall of famer (author’s note: he’s not!). If the Bears’ defense can make things difficult for him, he could really struggle. Unfortunately, with all the new faces at Hallas Hall, there is some gelling happening there too. Verdict: Bears keep it close week 1 but come up short. Justin Fields leaves us with sweet treat at the start of the season.
Chiefs week 3, Chargers Week 8
Even the most optimistic of Bears fan, can’t expect that a win against KC is a lock. After 2 weeks of the new look squad, this will be the measuring stick for progress. The next big test comes 5 weeks later with the Chargers who many expect to be around deep into January. This second test will be crucial in telling us whether things are working or not. A blown out by KC won’t be shameful, not competing in week 8 will say the progress hasn’t gone well. Verdict: Bears lose by double digits week 3. They cover the spread in week 8.
Panthers week 10
The successful tank from last season and the offseason trade brings this gem of a scenario: a double win. If the Bears win, it adds to their W column and brings them closer to a higher draft pick. Add to that, DJ Moore revenge factor and a primetime slot and you’ve got a feature stage for the Bears to ball out. Verdict: Bears win with Moore seeing the endzone at least once.
Post Bye Week Opportunity
The bye week for the Bears comes in week 13. Coming out of the bye, opponents are the Lions, Browns, Cardinals, Falcons and Packers. The hype on the Lions is as high as ever but the other 4 teams do not appear to be world beaters. Arizona is a mess and may be a competitor for a top 5 pick. The Browns may be good but by this point the Ravens will have broken them. Atlanta will struggle all year. As I said above, I expect the Bears to be a competing squad by then that beats Green Bay. Verdict: I look at those five games and see a floor of 3 wins with upside all the way to 5. I don’t expect this will be a playoff year but look for that Bears logo during the “In The Hunt” segments.