Chicago Bears at a glance
2018 Record: 12-4-0, first in the NFC North
Key Additions: S Ha Ha Clinton-Dix, WR Cordarrelle Patterson, RB Mike Davis
Key Losses: S Adrian Amos, RB Jordan Howard
|Super Bowl odds||+1600|
|NFC Championship odds||+800|
|NFC North odds||+170|
|Odds to make playoffs||Yes -140 / No +110|
|Regular season win total||9.5 (0 +120/ U -150)|
The long-struggling Bears surprised the league in Matt Nagy’s first year as head coach in 2018, when they went 12-4 and earned a wild-card berth in the playoffs. The Bears nearly moved on to the divisional round but fell just short after Golden Tate caught a two-yard pass from Nick Foles in the last minute to secure a 16-15 win for the Eagles. Kicker Cody Parkey had a chance to win the game for the Bears but missed the field goal in the most insane fashion to send Chicago on to the next round.
— NFL (@NFL) January 7, 2019
Moving forward in 2019, the Bears bring back almost all of their key roster pieces but lose defensive coordinator Vic Fangio, who took the head coaching job in Denver. To replace him Chicago hired former Colts head man Chuck Pagano, who last filled the role of defensive coordinator for the Ravens in 2011. Pagano will inherit the league’s No. 1 rushing defense and No. 3 overall unit.
On offense the Bears ranked 11th in team rushing yards and 21st in passing last season. They’ll need Tarik Cohen (444 rushing yards, three rushing touchdowns) to step up even more in the run game to make up for the loss of Jordan Howard (935 yards, nine TDs) and third-year quarterback Mitch Trubisky to improve on his accuracy and decision making.
Overall, Chicago is in good position to put together another solid season. There may be some drop-off, but expect another playoff appearance in 2019.
Super Bowl odds: +1600
Defense wins championships, as the saying goes, and the Bears should be one of the best in the league on that side of the field. It’s difficult, though, to see them taking down New Orleans, Los Angeles or Philadelphia in the NFC, or the Patriots/Chiefs should Chicago make it to the biggest stage in February.
NFC Championship odds: +800
As noted above, Chicago has the defense, but it’ll need a lot more on offense to get past an explosive team like the Rams or Drew Brees and the Saints to win the NFC.
— Chicago Bears (@ChicagoBears) August 9, 2019
NFC North odds: +170
The second-favorite to win the NFC North, the Packers (+190), have a new coach in 2019, but don’t expect a first-year explosion like Nagy experienced with the Bears. Chicago should once again lead the division.
Odds to make the playoffs: -140
With virtually the same team returning, it’s difficult to imagine the Bears missing out on the playoffs. They’ll be hungry for vengeance and at least one playoff win, considering the way they got knocked out of the postseason last year.
Regular season win total: 9.5
The Bears open at home against Green Bay on Thursday Night Football and will kick off the season with a win. Road games at Denver and Washington, plus back-to-back home games against Minnesota and Oakland, should all result in victories. After the bye week, it’s a bit tricky, as the Bears face the Saints, Chargers and Eagles on the road before the much-easier task of hosting Detroit at Soldier Field. Away games at the Rams and at Green Bay should result in two losses, and the Chiefs will add to the tally when they visit Chicago, but the Bears should win at least 10 games and hit the over.