Mason Thompson | June 16th, 2020
When the Bears made the playoffs in 2018, many thought it was a sign of things to come. A young offensive mind with a great defensive coach and star-studded defense had the future looking bright for Chicago. In 2019, those thoughts came crashing down. Mitchell Trubisky looked horrendous, the team couldn’t run the ball, and the defense took a major step backward without Vic Fangio. Matt Nagy is now on the hot seat and has brought in a familiar face to compete with Trubisky for the starting quarterback role.
Make sure to check out all of our in-depth power rankings here.
- Overall – 74.823 (27th)
- Offense – 70.9 (30th)
- Defense – 82.205 (10th)
- Coach and Culture – 77.25 (23rd)
- Home Field Advantage – 81, T-17th (4% Defense, 2% Overall)
Quarterbacks – 65, 32nd (36% Offense, 27% Overall)
Trubisky took a major step backward last year. In almost 100 more attempts, he threw fewer yards and touchdowns than he did in 2018. He also had the lowest yards per attempt and passer ratings of his career, while also being sacked the most in his career. The offense as a whole took a step back, but Trubisky looked lost. Without a first-round pick, many thought the Bears would address the position on day two of the draft.
Instead, they decided to trade for Nick Foles and take on his massive contract. Foles was handed an astronomical contract by Jacksonville after leading Philadelphia to the playoffs again in 2018 after Carson Wentz was injured. He got injured in week one and couldn’t regain the reigns as he was beaten out by sixth-round pick, Gardner Minshew. Foles teams up with Matt Nagy, who he was on the Chiefs where he was the backup to Alex Smith. Whoever starts in Chicago won’t be as good as Bears fans hope as Foles isn’t as much of an upgrade over Trubisky as many think.
Tyler Bray is the third quarterback in the room. Similar to Foles, he spent time with Nagy in Kansas City. He is an intriguing option who is now in his seventh-year who has made one pass attempt in his career. Out of Missouri, he is the complete opposite of Trubisky as he has a cannon for an arm. It would be interesting to see if Bray gets any snaps during the season if both Trubisky and Foles struggle.
Running Backs – 76.5, 26th (4% Offense, 3% Overall)
Second-year back, David Montgomery had a rough rookie season. He had 899 yards on 242 rushing attempts, only averaging 3.7 yards per carry and six touchdowns. The offensive line didn’t allow for him to have much room and the offensive line has seemingly gotten worse with Kyle Long retiring. Tarik Cohen lost some of his rushing work due to the addition of Montgomery last year, only totaling 64 rushing attempts for 213 yards. Cohen should’ve been more involved in the offense than he was last year and the Bears need to get him more involved. Ryan Nall is the only other back who was on the roster last year and only had two carries for eight yards.
Artavis Pierce was added as an undrafted free agent who offers a similar skill set to the one Cohen already brings and has been comped to Austin Ekeler. Napoleon Maxwell, another undrafted rookie from Florida International, will battle with Pierce for a roster spot.
Pass Catchers – 74.5, 29th (17% Offense, 8% Overall)
Allen Robinson is the clear cut number one receiver in the offense. He had his best season since 2015 as he caught 98 passes for 1,147 yards and seven touchdowns. Anthony Miller is a reliable number two receiver on most teams but has been capped due to the offensive struggles. Ted Ginn was added as the deep threat, while Cordarrelle Patterson will be the gadget player he always has been. Cohen caught 79 passes for 456 yards, less than six yards per catch, and three touchdowns. The amount of production Cohen had while having little to no production is a great figure for how bad the offense was last year.
Riley Ridley was seemingly a bust in his rookie year, only securing six passes for 69 yards. Later in the season, Javon Wims played and showed some promise as he finished with 18 catches for 186 yards and a touchdown. Fifth-round pick, Darnell Mooney will fight with Wims for snaps as a rookie and could find himself as the team’s third receiver sooner rather than later.
The tight end room is cluttered once again this year. Trey Burton is now gone and replaced with an aging, on the downswing, Jimmy Graham. Graham was given nine million in guarantees, coming off a year in Green Bay where he had the worst season since his rookie year. Second-round pick Cole Kmet could turn into the tight end that this team has needed for years. Ben Braunecker is more of a blocking tight end used in short-yardage situations, while Demetrius Harris is a former basketball player who spent time in Kansas City with Nagy. Former second-round pick Adam Shaheen now has the bust label as in three years he has only 26 catches, 249 yards, and four touchdowns. He could eventually be cut after the preseason if he doesn’t show any sort of development.
Offensive Line – 75, T-22nd (24% Offense, 12% Overall)
The Bears offensive line surrendered 45 sacks, and that was with Long playing. Charles Leno and Bobby Massie still man the two tackle spots. Massie took a step back last year and now doesn’t have his counterpart in Long next to him. James Daniels and Cody Whitehair return as the left guard and center. Replacing Long at right guard is a major question mark. Rashaad Coward and Germain Ifedi will likely battle for the starting role.
Chicago brought in former Packer bust, Jason Spriggs as some depth at both tackle spots. With some question marks at right tackle and right guard, the Bears rank lower on the offensive line. Chicago only brought in two late-round draft picks in Lachavious Simmons and Arlington Hambright.
Run Defense – 85, 7th (6% Defense, 2% Overall)
Chicago ranked ninth in run defense last year with Akiem Hicks missing time due to an injury. Hicks is back again this year and teams up with Eddie Goldman and Bilal Nichols on the defensive line. The front three are stout and even go down to the depth with Roy Robertson-Harris being a valuable role player in the defense. John Jenkins and Brent Urban offer some starting experience as depth as well.
Danny Trevathan and Roquan Smith are one of the best linebacking tandems in the game today. Trevathan is more of the run-stuffer, while Smith is the cover linebacker. Joel Iyiegbuniwe also factors in on run downs as well and will take over in the role that Nick Kwiatkoski had last year, who has left to go to the Raiders.
Pass Rush – 86, 4th (21% Defense, 10% Overall)
The Bears only had 32 sacks last year as teams double-teamed Khalil Mack as Hicks wasn’t a factor as he was injured. Mack was only able to record 8.5 sacks last year after having 12.5 sack season his first year in Chicago. Hicks hopes to get back to his 2018 form where he had 8.5 sacks as well as 12 tackles for loss. Robert Quinn is coming off an 11.5 sack season from Dallas who could have trouble finding a spot in the Chicago defense as he usually plays as a 4-3 defensive end but figures to play as a 3-4 outside linebacker in Chicago. Smith, Trevathan, and Goldman took a step back in their sack numbers last year as well. Barkevious Mingo was brought in from Houston to play a rotational role coming when needed.
Linebackers – 85.5, 5th (15% Defense, 4% Overall)
As I said earlier, the trio of Trevathan and Smith is one of the best in the league. Smith recorded 101 tackles, two sacks, and an interception, while Trevathan totaled 70 tackles and a forced fumble, as he also missed seven games last year due to injury. Iyiegbuniwe should take over Kwiatkoski’s role as the third linebacker this year. Josh Woods should also factor in as well in sub-packages.
Secondary – 77, 26th (26% Defense, 17% Overall)
The secondary is a far cry from what it was during the 2018 season. Kyle Fuller took a step backward last year after being invited to the pro bowl in 2018. Prince Amukamara, like Kwiatkoski, is now on the Raiders. Second-round pick, Jaylon Johnson takes over as the corner opposite of Fuller, while Buster Skrine will start in the slot. I wasn’t a fan of Johnson throughout the draft process as he is more of a zone cornerback who isn’t a willing tackler. Duke Shelley and Stephen Denmark were drafted late last year and will be the main depth along with Kevin Toliver.
Eddie Jackson is the star of the secondary who, like the rest of the Bears team, took a step back last year. In 2019, he had two interceptions to the six and two pick-sixes he had in 2018. The other safety spot opposite Jackson will likely be filled by Tashaun Gipson who was added late in the free agency period. Jordan Lucas, Deon Bush, and Deandre Houston-Carson fill the depth at the safety spot.
Coach and Culture – 77.25, 23rd (19% Offense, 28% Defense, 15% Overall)
Due to the offensive turmoil currently unfolding and the departure of Long, the offense needs a new leader to step up. Nagy needs to show that he can lead an offense instead of arguing and calling out his quarterback. Trubisky and Foles will battle all season for the starting job and ultimately hold this team back. The offensive coach and culture ranks 28th in the league.
The defense wasn’t the same after Fangio’s departure to become Denver’s head coach. Chuck Pagano still managed to have the defense finish fourth, but the departure of Amukamara is big. He was the leader and spokesman of the secondary. The defense will carry this team this year and ranks 14th in coach and culture.
This isn’t the same Bears team from 2018. Other teams have figured out Nagy’s offense, making it difficult for Trubisky to look like a lower-level starting quarterback at most. The quarterback situation is the worst in the league and either way, the Bears will have one of the worst starters in the league. The defense is still great, but the lack of an offensive identity clearly hinders Chicago.
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Main Credit Image: Embed from Getty Images