2021 Chicago Bears Predictions with Odds to Win Super Bowl
Since losing to the Green Bay Packers in the 2010 NFC Championship Game, the Chicago Bears have been mired in mediocrity. They have finished 8-8 four times, including the last two seasons, and have just one winning season to their name – back in 2018 when they won the division but lost in the Wild Card Round. The Bears simply can’t get out of their own way or draft well as they are now infamous for selecting Mitch Trubisky in the 2017 draft ahead of the likes of Deshaun Watson and Patrick Mahomes. To say the Bears have not recovered from that would be an understatement.
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Now they will be relying on Andy Dalton to lead the way and mentor their first-round draft pick, Justin Fields from Ohio State. It’s likely going to be another long and miserable season in Chicago as the Bears might very well be the worst team in the NFC North.
The Bears will open up the regular season on September 12 with a trip to Los Angeles to take on the Rams on Sunday Night Football. From there, they head home to tangle with the Cincinnati Bengals and then on the road again to take on the Cleveland Browns. The Bears have a very unique schedule in the sense that they alternate home and away games every single week of the NFL season.
As of writing this, the Bears are +5000 to win the Super Bowl, +2200 to win the NFC and +400 to win the NFC North.
Let’s take a look at what to expect from each unit heading into this season.
Key Players: Any Starting Quarterback, Allen Robinson, David Montgomery,
I know it’s a little unorthodox to leave out a specific quarterback in this key player section, but nobody can say for certain how long they expect Andy Dalton to be the starting quarterback of the Chicago Bears. My guess is that he lasts about three or four weeks before turning the keys over to Justin Fields to be baptized by fire. Dalton was a serviceable quarterback in an injury-filling role with Dallas, and he should bring a little stability to the Bears offense in terms of leadership and veteran presence. But let’s not make any mistakes about it, Dalton’s best years are far behind him and he’s just a placeholder for the future of the franchise, Justin Fields. The OSU product showed us his talent last year with the Buckeyes both through the air on the ground with his feet. Will that dual-threat versatility translate well into the NFL? I say yes, but it’ll take some growing pains before he turns into the real deal. Quarterback play has haunted the Bears for the last decade, and I think they finally deserve to be right with this one.
The guy who will benefit the most from having a legit quarterback is Allen Robinson. Robinson has been in quarterback hell throughout his time in the league, starting with the Jaguars and Blake Bortles and then the last three seasons in Chicago with Trubisky. Somehow, Robinson has managed to put up back-to-back 1,100+ yards receiving and found the endzone 13 times over those two seasons. He’ll be on a lot of people’s radars in fantasy this year if word breaks that Fields is going to start more than a handful of games. The Bears need that connection to click for major production if they have any hope of keeping up in the division.
As for Montgomery, he’s been effective over his first two years in the season, notching a 1,070-yard season last year while finding paydirt eight times. He also notched 54 catches out of the backfield for 438 yards and two touchdowns, so his production should see an uptick just based on experience and having a quarterback that can keep the defense from stacking the box against him.
Defense & Special Teams
Key Players: Khalil Mack, Akiem Hicks, Roquan Smith
Defensively, the Bears were an okay team in terms of rankings. However, make no mistakes about it, it was their defense that kept them in a lot of games in spite of the offensive woes. The defense ranked 16th in terms of points allowed per game at 23.1, 15th in rushing yards allowed per game at 113.4 and 12th in passing yards allowed per game with 231.6. Those numbers are very solid for a defense that was on the field as much as the Bears were. If the offense can do its part and sustain a few drives and put up a few more points, the defense will be a little fresher and they should be able to improve on these numbers and help the team succeed. As for special teams, Cairo Santos will be relied upon for kicking field goals and extra points, and he’s become a very reliable option in his time in the league.
The Bears deserve to catch a break. They will never live down drafting Trubisky ahead of Watson and/or Mahomes. However, the fact they chose Justin Fields gives me hope for the future. It’ll take a season or so for Fields to come into his own. But with the defense they have, I think they are going to be a formidable team in years to come. Unfortunately, this year, I don’t see that happening and I see another .500 or so finish on the horizon. They are not better or worse than last year, and that’s a problem when other teams around them are doing things to take steps forward and progress. I say the Bears miss the playoffs and Fields is starting by Week 6.
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