Week One — at Detroit Lions
Chicago Bears (0-0) @ Detroit Lions (0-0)
Date: September 13th, 2020 — 12:00pm, FOX
Location: Detroit, MI — Ford Field
Last season, the Bears had their way with the Detroit Lions, sweeping them for the second consecutive season. However, both of those were one-score games, 20-13 in Week 10, and then a 24-20 win on Thanksgiving in David Blough’s debut.
Even though the Detroit Lions figure to be among the worst teams in the league, divisional games are always tough.
Whoever the Bears roll out with under center will have a chance to pad stats a bit against a Lions secondary that ranked as the worst in the NFL in 2019.
My guess would be the Opening Day starter is Mitch Trubisky, since the Bears would want to coax the most out of their investment. He should play well enough to buy time and quiet his detractors, but not groundbreaking enough that he can completely hit the mute button on them.
No. 3 pick Jeff Okudah should certainly make a difference, as should free agent signee, Desmond Trufant. But the Lions will be bringing in a young offensive line too, and my hunch is that Khalil Mack, Akiem Hicks and Robert Quinn smell blood in the water. They will continue their run as one of the NFL’s great Opening Week teams.
Score Prediction: Bears, 22; Lions, 14
Week Two — vs. New York Giants
New York Giants (0-1) @ Chicago Bears (1-0)
Date: September 20th, 2020 — 12:00pm, CBS
Location: Chicago, IL — Soldier Field
Using the week-for-week predictor, the New York Giants will be coming into Soldier Field for a Week Two matchup with a few variables working against them. For example (1) a lack of momentum after losing to the Pittsburgh Steelers, (2) a short week of preparation, since they play Week One on Monday Night Football and (3) first-year head coach Joe Judge’s first regular-season road game.
Saquon Barkley is an all-world competitor, but those three variables will be tough to overmatch. The Giants have won only six of their last 24 road games, and that doesn’t bode well against a Chicago Bears team that knows it must capitalize on a tissue-soft start to the schedule.
Similar to the Lions, the Giants spent a lot of their draft capital on the offensive line, starting with Georgia’s Andrew Thomas. Expect some growing pains. Jim Nantz’s assessment that the New York Giants will be better than expected is certainly true, but maybe not in the very near future.
Expect the Bears to take advantage of those factors. The Giants gave up 23 or more points in 13 of a possible 16 games. Perhaps Trubisky picks up momentum, and even more importantly confidence, and the Bears come away with a strong second victory.
Score: Bears, 30; Giants, 13