Week 16 — at Jacksonville Jaguars
Chicago Bears (9-5) @ Jacksonville Jaguars (2-12)
Date: December 27th, 2020 — 12:00pm, FOX
Location: Jacksonville, FL — TIAA Bank Field
By all accounts, the Jacksonville Jaguars appear to be in full-on, non-admitting “tank mode” for the 2020-21 season. At this point in the simulation, they are 2-12 and tied for the worst record in the NFL with the Washington Redskins.
The Jaguars were essentially a garage sale this offseason, letting some of the notable names of past years roam free. Tank for Trevor? Snore-nce for Lawrence? … Let’s move on.
Anyways, this game could have some storylines for the Bears, too, especially if Nick Foles is the starting QB.
In early December of 2019, the Jaguars benched Nick Foles in favor of fan-favorite Gardner Minshew. Imagine the fireworks (probably just a little smoke) if the two meet up for this Week 16 matchup. Regardless of who starts, they’ll have plenty of motivation. The Bears will be seeking to keep pace with a tough NFC, and they likely get the job done with a win here.
Score Prediction: Bears, 23; Jaguars, 10
Rest of NFC North: Packers (11-4) def. Titans (9-6), Buccaneers (11-4) def. Lions (3-12), Saints (11-4) def. Vikings (7-8)
Bears’ Standings: No. 2 in NFC North, No. 7 in NFC (behind Seahawks)
Week 17 — vs. Green Bay Packers
Green Bay Packers (11-4) @ Chicago Bears (10-5)
Date: January 4th, 2021 — 12:00pm, FOX
Location: Chicago, IL — Soldier Field
And thus, the final week of the NFL season. In this fantasy world, the Bears find themselves in a win-and-in situation and are in need of some help from the 49ers (who play the No. 6-seeded Seahawks), or the Giants or Redskins.
If I told you today that a Playoff spot in Week 17 would come down to either Nick Foles or Mitch Trubisky outdueling Aaron Rodgers in the game of the season, would you be confident?
I probably wouldn’t, either. Even at Soldier Field, the Bears are 1-3 (and 1-4 in this simulation) against the Packers since 2018. In just about every big game between the two, the Packers have come out on top, and with Davante Adams and Aaron Jones in tow, there’s a chance they do here, too. In good conscience, the Bears are hard to trust in this sort of game.
Score Prediction: Packers, 26; Bears, 20
NFC Playoff Teams: Packers, Saints, Buccaneers, Eagles, 49ers, Seahawks
So, this ends the Bears’ game-for-game predictions with scenarios. Ironically, this was much more optimistic than many of the other experts. In fact, only Chris Emma of WSCR predicts a double-digit win season, while many of the others see a product ranging somewhere between 7-9 and 9-7.
It’s certainly difficult to guess these things in May, but this was a fun experiment, made even more fun thanks to the NFL Playoffs Predictor pick machine.
Here’s a full look at the standings. Feel free to try your own hand at predicting a full, 256-game season.