The Bears won the NFC North with ease last season, but things won’t be as easy for Matt Nagy and his innovative offense in 2019.
No one expected the Bears to dominate the NFC North last season, but that’s exactly what Chicago did en route to a 12-4 victory. Everyone in the Windy City should be hoping for a similar result in 2019.
Unfortunately for head coach Matt Nagy and company, defending their division crown is going to be tougher than winning it last season. There’s still a lot of talent on the roster, but both the Vikings and Packers project to be legitimate playoff contenders this season. It will be difficult for all three teams to crash the NFL postseason.
Offensively, there are still a lot of questions about just how good quarterback Mitchell Trubisky is. He put up good numbers in Nagy’s offense last season, but the term “system quarterback” has been bandied about. The decision to move on from running back Jordan Howard is only going to place more on the young quarterback’s plate.
There are fewer question marks on the defensive side of the ball. Khalil Mack is an absolute wrecking ball up front. Roquan Smith should only be a more effective linebacker in year two. Kyle Fuller still anchors a secondary that should emerge as a top-10 unit in the NFL.
Of course, not everything goes according to plan for any NFL team. Here are five bold predictions for the Bears in 2019.
5. Roquan Smith will get 10 sacks
Roquan Smith had an awesome rookie season at the middle linebacker position. Despite getting a late start to the preseason campaign, he still managed to notch five sacks in 2018. He should be even better in his sophomore season.
Despite Smith’s solid pass rushing last season, opposing offenses are still going to key on guys like Mack, Leonard Floyd and Akiem Hicks on obvious passing downs. Look for the defensive coaching staff to get creative with Smith. He’ll take advantage of a lot of single matchups to rack up double-digit sacks.