The Chicago Bears boast one of the most storied histories in the National Football League. Since 1920, the Bears have hit the gridiron and been a part of some of the most memorable sports history moments. With 32 Hall Of Fame players and coaches, they have seen some of the best talents of all time walk through the doors of Halas Hall. Today, the Bears are one of two charter teams that still exist in the NFL. Since 1971, the Bears have called Soldier Field in downtown Chicago home, where the most passionate fans in the world cheer for their beloved team.
In this section, we discuss everything recent and current with the Chicago Bears to ensure that the best fans in the world have the information they need for the 2020 season.
Recent Chicago Bears News
The 2019 season was the Chicago Bears' 100th in the National Football League, and they're second under Head Coach Matt Nagy. After a 2018 season, which saw the Bears reach a 12-4 record and their first playoff birth since 2010, the fanbase was full of optimism and dreams of a Superbowl championship. Quarterback Mitchell Trubisky had taken huge strides in his second year in the NFL, and the defense returned most of its starters after finishing as the best in the league in 2018.
After starting the season 3-1, the Bears lost 4 straight games, starting with a 24-21 defeat to the (then) Oakland Raiders in London. After falling to the Philadelphia Eagles, the Bears sat at 3-5, which meant that they would not improve on their 2018 record of 12-4. Chicago would win four of their next five games to get back into the playoff discussion. Still, a loss to the rival Green Bay Packers and a Minnesota Vikings victory over the Los Angeles Chargers in week 15 officially eliminated them from contention. The Bears ended their season with a win over the Vikings but ultimately finished 8-8 and third place in the NFC North for the 2019 season.
Chicago Bears 2020 Offseason
Following the season, there was much blame to be passed around for a disappointing year. The offense deserved a majority of the blame, finishing 29th in the NFL in scoring and putting up a measly 17.5 points per game. The team averaged just 4.7 yards per play, the second-fewest in the NFL, and was last in the league in net yards per attempt with 5.3. In all but five games, the Bears failed to score a touchdown in the first half. The offensive line struggled all year long in numerous fields, including injuries to Guard Kyle Long and Tackle Bobby Massie, a failed position swap between Center Cody Whitehair and Guard James Daniels. The Bears suffered 43 sacks on the year, 12th most in the league, and averaged just 91.1 rushing yards per game, which were the sixth-worst in the NFL. Defensively, while their turnovers forced decreased from 36 to 19, they still ranked top-5 in points allowed (18.6). They were the only team with a top-5 defense not to qualify for the postseason in 2019.
Perhaps most concerning was the regression of Trubisky, who had made the Pro Bowl in 2018. In what was supposed to be the year he put it all together, Trubisky looked out of sync and lost for the majority of the season while suffering regressions in all of his major passing categories, including yardage (3,138), completion percentage (63.2), touchdowns (17), and rating (83).
In free agency, the Bears signed TE Jimmy Graham, CB Artie Burns, S Jordan Lucas, OL Germain Ifedi, LB Robert Quinn, LB Barkevious Mingo, S Tashaun Gipson, and WR Ted Ginn Jr. After Trubisky's struggles, the Bears formally traded for Jacksonville Jaguars quarterback Nick Foles in exchange for a compensatory fourth-round selection in the 2020 NFL Draft on March 31. The former Super Bowl LII MVP worked with Nagy in Philadelphia and Kansas City. Foles' lone season in Jacksonville saw him suffer an injury and make only four starts for the team.
Additions in the NFL also come with subtractions in the offseason. On January 5, 2020, Long announced his retirement on Twitter after playing his entire career with the Bears. He struggled with injuries in his later years, including being placed on injured reserve in 2019. The Bears cut veteran receiver Taylor Gabriel and corner Prince Amukamara after both players had injuries in 2019. LB Leonard Floyd was released on March 17, 2020. SS Clinton-Dix departed for Dallas, while QB Chase Daniel and Defensive Lineman Nick Williams went to the Detroit Lions. LB Nick Kwiatkoski joined the Las Vegas Raiders, and TE Trey Burton was released in April.
The 2020 NFL Draft
The Bears began the 2020 NFL Draft with TE, OL, DB, QB, and WR. Still not possessing a first-round pick due to the Khalil Mack trade during the 2017 offseason, the Bears had two second-round selections to work with at the start of the draft. Chicago used its first 2nd-round pick on TE Cole Kmet from Notre Dame, and its second on CB Jaylon Johnson. Kmet grew up near Chicago and was a Bears fan during his childhood. He caught 43 passes for 515 yards and six touchdowns in 2019 with ND. Johnson was named first-team All-Pac-12 Conference and recorded 36 tackles two interceptions during his final year, but fell from his projected first-round draft grade after undergoing surgeries on his shoulders.
Chicago Bears 2020 Season
The 2020 season opener was a rivalry game against the Detroit Lions, who finished last in the NFC North in 2019. In the week leading up to the opener, Nagy named Trubisky the starting quarterback over Foles after the two battled for the training camp position. After falling behind 23-6, it looked like the Bears were dead in the water. However, they formulated an improbable comeback behind three TD passes from Trubisky in the fourth quarter to take the lead 27-23. Detroit had a chance to win the game as they drove all the way down to the Bears' 11-yard line in the final minute of the game. Luckily for them, Lion's RB D'andre Swift dropped the game-winning touchdown pass with six seconds remaining. Johnson broke up Matt Stafford's final throw to secure the victory.
Chicago's home opener game against the 0–1 New York Giants, whom the Bears defeated 19–14 in 2019. Once again, the game would come down to the final drive, as the Bears could do nothing offensively in the second half. The Giants would reach the Bears' ten-yard line, but Jackson broke up Jones' final pass for Golden Tate for the 17-13 win. It was the Bears' first 2–0 start since 2013. Although DE Akiem Hicks remarked in his post-game conference that such a record was "delicious," regardless of how it is attained, Nagy described his team as "just OK right now. I think we expect a little better."
The 0–2 Atlanta Falcons hosted the Bears in Week 3. After again falling behind, and after a Trubisky interception, Foles replaced Trubisky in the third quarter trailing 23-10. Foles and the Bears would score 20 unanswered points as he completed touchdown throws to Graham, Robinson, and Miller. A final drive ended at the Bears' 44-yard line when Ryan overthrew a pass and intercepted Gipson to complete the 30–26 comeback. As the Bears' 2013 trend continued with their first 3–0 start since that season, they also became the first team in NFL history to win multiple games in a season in which they overcame a 16-point deficit in the fourth quarter. Nagy explained benching the starting quarterback was "never fun," especially due to Trubisky's friendships with his teammates, but the move "seemed like the right time" after the interception. In his post-game conference, Foles described the quarterback switch as "really sucks" for Trubisky as he had experienced his own benchings during his career, adding that Trubisky had a "bright career ahead of him, this is just one day." Trubisky conceded that the "only thing I can control is me playing better when I have those reps in the first half, and I didn't do that," while his new priority was "to move forward, accept it and continue to be a great teammate. But it's a tough deal sometimes." Foles has officially named the starter a day after the game. RB and punt returner Tarik Cohen tore his anterior cruciate ligament during the game, which resulted in him being placed on season-ending IR.
Week 4 saw the Bears welcome the 2–1 Indianapolis Colts to Soldier Field. This would be the Bears' worst game of the season to date, losing 19-11 in a game that they were never really in. Foles ended his first start as a Bear with 26 of 42 passes for 249 yards, a touchdown, and an interception. After recording at least 130 rushing yards in each of the first three games, the Bears had just 28 against the fourth-ranked Colts run defense. The defensive performance, which saw a season-low 18 first downs and 289 yards allowed, drew parallels to the 2019 loss to the Los Angeles Chargers, where they allowed the fewest first downs and run yardage of the year against a Rivers-led offense, but lost. Nagy regarded the loss as "a tough game to be a part of. Offensively, we know that we've got to be a lot better. Eleven points don't do it."
The 3-1 Bears hosted the 3–1 Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Thursday Night Football in Week 5. They would look to rebound from their first loss of the season against a Tom Brady led Bucs squad. In all-too-familiar fashion, the Bears started the game off finding themselves in a hole, this time down 13-0 at one point. However, Foles executed a great drive towards the end of the first half that saw Montgomery get the Bears' first rushing TD of the season and made it 13-7. On the next Bucs drive, the defense forced a fumble on a massive Fuller hit in Bucs territory, which Foles took advantage of and tossed a TD pass to Graham to end the first half up 14-13. The teams would then exchange field goals and leads, with the bears eventually being in front 20-19. On their final drive, the Buccaneers reached the Bears' 41-yard line, but Houston-Carson broke up Brady's fourth-down pass to Brate to secure the 20–19 Chicago win. The victory improved the Bears to 4–1, their best start since 2012. Chicago's first win over Brady in six tries; Brady had entered the game with a 109.2 passer rating and 14 touchdowns to four interceptions against Chicago.
In their first game at Bank of America Stadium since a 31–24 loss in 2014, the Bears visited the 3–2 Carolina Panthers. Once again, the defense was tasked with stopping a game-winning drive in this game. On the final drive, Bridgewater's throw to D. J. Moore was intercepted by Houston-Carson to secure the Chicago win; it was Houston-Carson's first NFL interception. The victory improved the Bears to 5–1, their best such start since 2012, and a 3–0 record in away games for the first time since 2006. In his conference, Foles noted the team was "not going to get complacent" about the record, especially with the close victories, while his 70.3 passer rating was his third-worst since 2018. Still, they added that he would rather "win ugly" than "lose pretty" as "great teams find a way to win a game. Bad teams win with prettiness."
Top 10 Current Bears Players
OLB Khalil Mack - (Preseason - #1) - (Proj. Finish - #1)
The unquestioned leader of the Bears defense and the team's best player since he arrived, Mack will not be moving from this spot barring injury. Possessing a combination of elite strength and speed, he is one of the best players in the NFL and a first-ballot Hall-of-Famer. The contributions he makes to the Bears can't always be measured in sacks, as opposing teams must game plan extensively for him. He constantly draws double teams, which leaves other guys like Robert Quinn one-on-one.
2. WR Allen Robinson ll - (Preseason - #2) - (Proj. Finish - #3)
The one-man on offense that consistently performs week in and week out, Robinson is a big play receiver that forces opposing defenses to put their best corner on him. Despite having some issues this year with his contract status, Robinson has put it behind him for the team's better. He has lost some contested catches this year, resulting in interceptions, which is why he might fall behind the next player on this list. However, expect Robinson to continue to be who the offense runs through.
3. FS Eddie Jackson - (Preseason - #3) - (Proj. Finish - #2)
The true definition of a ball-hawk, Jackson is an elite playmaker in the defensive backfield. His instincts and abilities in zone coverage make him someone opposing QB's don't test very often. Jackson is always a threat to take a pick to the house, becoming known for his pick-6 prowess and celebrations in the end zone. Jackson hasn't had a pick-6 this season, having two of them taken back because of penalties. He is due for an explosion soon, which is why I can see him jumping Robinson for the #2 spot.
4. DE Akiem Hicks - (Preseason - #4) - (Proj. Finish - #5)
Hicks is known for his funny and competitive demeanor, but also his presence on the football field. A huge man standing 6'5" and 324 lbs, Hicks has the strength of a grizzly bear, dominating offensive lineman with his power. He is also a vigilant player, always knowing the situation and what he needs to do during a specific play. I see him moving down due to the next player's great play, as Hicks is a force to reckoned with upfront.
5. CB Kyle Fuller - (Preseason - #5) - (Proj. Finish - #4)
Fuller is a player who has been playing out of his mind to start the 2020 season. He is one of the best CBs in the league through 6 games, locking down opposing number one receivers and forcing QBs to find another target. Fuller has always been underrated his entire career, but he's been an all-pro and a pro-bowler on multiple occasions, and it's about time he got the recognition he deserves as one of the best in the league.
6. MLB Roquan Smith - (Preseason - #7) - (Proj. Finish - #6)
Smith has had his ups and downs throughout his career, with many questioning his dedication to the game after his "hiatus" in 2019. Smith had to come out in 2020 and prove that he still had his head in football, and so far, he has delivered. After a slow start to the season, Smith has really turned it on as of late, racking up tackles and being exactly where he needs to be on the field. He is still a very young player, and if he can stay healthy and keep his priorities straight, Smith will be an all-pro for years to come.
7. DT Eddie Goldman - (Preseason - #6) - (Proj. Finish - #7)
While Goldman may not be playing this season after opting out due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but he remains in a top-10 spot on this roster. The defense's effect has been felt due to his absence, with the Bears allowing more rushing years this season than they had in previous years. Goldman is a big, run-stuffing nose tackle that clogs up running lanes and makes it much easier for LBs to get to the RB. His value cannot be understated to maintain a position as one of the team's top players.
8. OT Charles Leno Jr. - (Preseason - #9) - (Proj. Finish - #8)
Leno doesn't get enough credit for his contributions on the offensive line. While he sometimes struggles in pass protection, which admittedly isn't good for a left tackle, Leno is a mauler in the run game. The Bears may have a serious problem running the football, but don't blame Leno. He consistently opens up holes in the running game on the left side and can hold his blocks. It's the reason Ryan Pace decided to pay him before he hit free agency a couple of years ago.
9. C Cody Whitehair - (Preseason - #10) - (Proj. Finish - #10)
Whitehair has been a dependable center during his time with the Bears but has struggled the last couple of games. He has been getting beaten off the line by an opposing defensive lineman and looks lost when running blocking. He maintains a spot in the top-10 simply due to his consistency throughout his career and because of the struggles of high-priced acquisition Robert Quinn.
10. RB David Montgomery - (Preseason - --) - (Proj. Finish - #9)
Montgomery is an enigma of sorts. In the brief time he has been in Chicago, we have seen flashes of brilliance in the young RB out of Iowa State. Other times, he gets stuffed at the line and is a part of the horrid rushing numbers the Bears have put up over the last few years. He arrives on the top-10 list because of the poor overall play of OLB Robert Quinn, who was the preseason #8 player on the team.
Are the Bears ever going to get help for the O-Line?
The Bears need some help on the offensive line after Guard James Daniels went down to a season-ending injury a couple of weeks ago. The answer is not really easy to come up with. There aren't many offensive linemen available now that you could plug into the lineup and start right away. When people tell you there is a lack of offensive line talent in this league, they are right. Because of the shortage of talent, it's hard for any team to think about trading away, even average lineman, because they need depth.
2. Should we believe in the 5-1 start the Bears have gotten out to?
Hard to say. While they have had a plus-12 point differential to start the year, they have looked absolutely terrible at times. But you are what your record says you are, and the Bears can thank their elite defense for it.
3. Could Eddie Pineiro lose his kicking job to Cairo Santos?
Absolutely. At this point for the Bears, they need to find a solid kicker and ride the hot leg. If Santos continues to play at a high level, there is no way they should break that rhythm to bring Pineiro back.
4. Why don't the Bears bring pressure on third-and-long situations?
Playing to the numbers. The Bears have been excellent in these situations all season dropping eight into coverage, and they do not need to bring extra pressure in these situations with guys like Mack and Hicks rushing the passer.
5. Who decides to go no-huddle during an offensive drive?
Nagy is in control of how fast the offense goes. Foles doesn't have the ability to make this decision during a game. Don't expect to see it too often, as Nagy likes to make sure his plays are understood before the snap.
6. Why isn't David Montgomery being used more in the screen game or passing game?
Quietly, Montgomery has been targeted 19 times since Tarik Cohen went down to his ACL injury. That's double the number of targets he received through the first three games. He hasn't broken one open yet, but all it takes is a small window.
7. Would the offense get better if Bill Lazor was calling plays?
I seriously doubt it. While there is no way of knowing that unless it actually happens, Nagy has full control of this offense and makes all the decisions for it. I don't think we see a change soon, barring a long losing streak.