Chicago Bears: Why ESPN analyst is wrong about 2020 NFC North predictions

Chicago Bears (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
Chicago Bears (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images) /

The Chicago Bears struggled in 2019 but still found themselves 8-8 on the season. Mike Clay of ESPN disrespects the Bears by predicting them last in the NFC North for 2020.

The Chicago Bears struggled in 2019 and found themselves 8-8 on the year. Matt Nagy and the team started out 3-1 on the year but quickly fell off and went on a four-game losing streak. The losses all came after the team traveled to London to face the Raiders. It was clear that the team did not handle the extended travel well, but could it have affected them once they returned too?

One of the losses during that four-game span came to the Los Angeles Chargers by losing by only one point. This was not the only game they lost in a close fashion. The loss to the Raiders was also only by three points and the Bears let the game get away. In fact, only the Saints game and Chiefs game were out of reach.

Despite the offense never finding its identity, the team was as close to being 11-5 as it was 7-9. Not to mention, the offense improved on paper this offseason. Anyone who thinks otherwise is in denial. Yes, I am talking to you Packers, Vikings and Lions fans. Whether you believe in Mitchell Trubisky or not, adding Nick Foles is an upgrade over Chase Daniel. The same can be said of Jimmy Graham over Trey Burton and Germain Ifedi over Rashaad Coward.

To top it off, the Bears find themselves likely to be better on defense too. Imagine a defense that should perform closer to its 2018 season than its 2019 season. Robert Quinn over Leonard Floyd alone is an upgrade. Now bring back a healthy Akiem Hicks and Danny Trevathan. The addition of Tashaun Gipson excites me too if he can stay healthy. Plus it sounds like Jaylon Johnson has all the tools to be a top lockdown cornerback in the NFL.

With these improvements, the Packers basically standing pat and the Vikings and Lions improving as slightly as many would say the Chicago Bears improved, then why is Mike Clay of ESPN predicting the Bears to finish dead last in the division with only six wins?

He really thinks this defense, easily a top-five unit, is going to lay down and just watch 10 losses happen? Sorry, this is not possible. This defense is too good to let this happen. Clay has 11 other teams performing better than the Bears defense from a points allowed perspective. Come on Clay.

This defense was fourth in points allowed per game last year. That will not get any worse. The team allowed only 298 points total in 2019, but they will allow 358 this year? That is four more points allowed per game. I just do not see it.

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The worst this team will be is 8-8 again this season. To believe the Lions, Packers and Vikings are all going to be that close to one another is astonishing to me. To believe the Bears will be the seventh-worst team in the NFL this year is astonishing to me. It is one thing to be too optimistic, but this is beyond pessimism.