Chicago Bears 2020 Schedule Review
If you just read about the Chicago Bears without having any knowledge of where they have finished over the last couple seasons, you would think they have been finishing 4th in the NFC North every year. Sure they took Mitch Trubisky 2nd overall when they could have had Deshaun Watson or Patrick Mahomes, but they still went 12-4 in 2018 and 8-8 last season. The sky is not falling. In comes Nick Foles (hopefully) and even though he has not really done much as far a starting quarterback in the NFL (post-season Super Bowl run aside), I think he is an upgrade over Mitch and I think he wins the job. Had he been the starter last season, I think they would have beaten the Raiders and Chargers and doing so would have propelled them to a 10-6 season. Ifs and buts though.
As far as fantasy goes, I want Allen Robinson on all of my teams but I am not sure I can get him where he is being drafted since I want to go running back/running back to start. That means running back, David Montgomery, is the guy I am targeting and I can safely get him in the 4th round of every draft. He is the #24 RB off the board and I think he can easily be a top 15 back with possible top 10 upside. Live a little here guys.
The biggest issue with the Bears is their offensive line. Period. Last season they were 29th in adjusted line yards and the year before they were 28th. That’s a problem that was not addressed with players but with a coaching change. Gone is Harry Hiestand and in is Juan Castillo. There were plenty of good words about this group of players here from PFF but what I like most is the fact that they’re young and it is not as hard to go from bottom of the league to middle of the pack. Again, we don’t need them to be the best in the NFL, just not the worst which I think is in the range of outcomes for this bunch.
So assuming Castillo can take the O-Line from #29 into the teens, David Montgomery stands to benefit in a big way. First of all, the opportunity should be there as he carried the ball 242 times last season. The Bears ran the ball as a team, 395 times which was down from 468 in 2018. I don’t see any reason why Chicago can’t get to the 450+ total again this season with Foles running the show which would make Montgomery a 250+ carries guy. Last season, only eight running backs in the NFL saw 250+ carries so that’s a lot of run for a guy going #55 in drafts.
The downside to Montgomery is going to be lack of receptions (25 last season) due to the presence of Tarik Cohen. That is no doubt a problem but it can be compensated for by touchdowns. In 2019, the NFL leader (Christian McCaffrey) only had 3 more carries inside the opponents’ 5 yard line last season than Montgomery. McCaffrey turned those carries into 8 touchdowns while Montgomery only had 5. Not the biggest difference in the world but it shows there is room for Montgomery to grow. Only one RB in the NFL (Leonard Fournette) got a larger percentage of his team’s inside the 5 yard line carries than Montgomery’s 87.5% so his role seems safe. With Foles, he could lead the NFL in this category and with improved line play, he should convert more of those carries into touchdowns.
At the end of the day, it’s not crazy to think Montgomery to crack 250+ carries while raising his per carry average to 4.2 from 3.7. That’s not even that good but if he did that, he would rush for 1,050 yards. If he were able to convert his carries inside the five at a better rate, he could crack double digit touchdowns. Don’t even get me started on what would happen if Tarik Cohen were to get hurt (I never wish injury). I think Montgomery finishes the season as a top 15 back this year without even considering his upside and at his current ADP, I won’t pass him up.
Right now, the Chicago Bears are +560 to win the NFC North, +170 to make the playoffs and their win total is set at 8. I doubt they win the NFC North but in a division as wide open as this one, it seems reasonable to make the bet. They just won the division in 2018 so it’s not like it’s out of the question. In terms of making the playoffs, I think they would have to win the division to do so making the +170 position virtually worthless. Why not just take the +560 to win the division? As far as the win total, the Chicago Bears 2020 Schedule Review should help with that.
Chicago Bears 2020 Schedule Review
Week 1 – @ Lions
Opening day, not much advantage to be had other than home field.
Week 2 – Giants
The Giants will be on short rest after opening the season at home against the Steelers on Monday Night Football. They head back home to take on the 49ers in Week 3.
Week 3 – @ Falcons
Atlanta will be coming off of a road game against the Cowboys in Week 2. They take on the Packers at Lambeau Field in Week 4.
Week 4 – Colts
The Colts will host the Jets in Week 3. They fly to Cleveland to take on the Browns in Week 5.
Week 5 – Buccaneers (TNF)
The Buccaneers will travel on short rest for this one since it is on a Thursday Night. They return home to play the Packers in Week 6. This is a good spot for the Bears.
Week 6 – @ Panthers
The Panthers will be coming off of a road game versus a division rival (Falcons) in Week 5. They have another divisional game on the road against the Saints in Week 7.
Week 7 – @ Rams (MNF)
Second straight road game for the Bears. The Rams will be coming off of a road matchup with a divisional rival (49ers) in Week 6. They head to Miami for a non-conference game with the Dolphins in Week 8.
Week 8 – Saints
Feels like a win for the Bears getting the Saints in Chicago. They have a home battle with a division rival (Panthers) in Week 7. They take another division rival (Buccaneers) in Week 9 but this time on the road. Sandwich spot?
Week 9 – @ Titans
The Titans will be coming home after playing the Bengals in Cincinnati in Week 8. They have a Thursday game versus a division opponent (Colts) in Week 10.
Week 10 – Vikings (MNF)
This will be the second division game in a row for the Vikings as they play the Lions at home in Week 9. They return home to play the Cowboys in Week 11.
Week 11 – Bye
Matt Nagy is 0-2 after a bye week in his head coaching career.
Week 12 – @ Packers
If you have to go to Green Bay, you probably want to do it after a bye week. The Packers will be back at Lambeau after a road game against a non-conference opponent (Colts) in Week 11. They stay home to face the Eagles in Week 13.
Week 13 – Lions
The Lions come into this one on extra rest/prep time after playing a non-conference opponent (Texans) at home on Thursday Night in Week 12. They head back home to square off with the Packers in Week 14.
Week 14 – Texans
This is the second straight home game for the Bears. The Texans will be coming off of a division game at home with the Colts in Week 13. They then head to Indy to take on the Colts again in Week 15. Sandwich spot?
Week 15 – @ Vikings
The Vikings play Tom Brady and the Buccaneers in Tampa in Week 14. They play a Christmas Day Game in New Orleans agains the Saints in Week 16. Not a bad spot for the Bears.
Week 16 – @ Jaguars
Last road game of the regular season and second one in a row for the Bears. The Jags come into this one after playing the Ravens in Baltimore in Week 15 (that should go well). They then fly to Indianapolis to play the Colts to finish the season.
Week 17 – Packers
It’s not crazy to think this game could be for the division. The Packers will come into this one after a non-conference game at home against the Titans in Week 16.
The Bears are a pretty sneaky pick to win the NFC North at +560. What sticks out the most is the fact that it’s not unreasonable to think they go 2-0 against the Packers which would go a long way in deciding the division. Being at home in Week 17 is a big deal especially when you consider the game they played in Green Bay was after their bye. I like the Bears to win at least 8 games this season and I think they are worth a small play to win their division at +560.
Chicago Bears 2020 Schedule Review