The Chicago Bears won the NFC North in 2018 and missed the playoffs one year later. So what’s the formula for bouncing back this upcoming season?
It was one of the more celebrated trades of the 2018 season as the Chicago Bears paid plenty in order to obtain defensive standout Khalil Mack from the then-Oakland Raiders. In fact, general manager Ryan Pace and the organization still haven’t completely anted up for his services. The team has Las Vegas’ second- and fifth-round picks this April but the Raiders own Chicago’s first- and third-round selections this year.
That year, the Bears parlayed their fearsome defense and just enough offense from quarterback Mitchell Trubisky and company into a 12-4 record and the club’s first division title and playoff berth since 2010.
But this club hit the skids early on during the first half of 2019 and it just wasn’t based on offensive struggles. The defense fell off as well, most notably struggling against the run. When it was all said and done the year culminated in an 8-8 mark and a third-place and a third-place finish in the NFC North.
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So what can the Bears do over the next few months to show that they weren’t a one-hit wonder in 2018?
Veteran guard Kyle Long opted for retirement and just recently, the franchise parted ways with wide receiver Taylor Gabriel and cornerback Prince Amukamara. The team has some salary cap room to work with (via Spotrac) and that’s good considering the club doesn’t have its full share of draft choices thanks to Pace’s various moves.
Another positive is the fact that Nagy’s club owns a sparkling 9-3 record vs. their longtime divisional rivals under his guidance. The club has swept the Vikings and Lions the past two seasons while the Bears have dropped three of their last four games to Green Bay.
Ah, the Packers. As in the reigning NFC North champions. So what can Nagy and company do to reclaim their throne and win the NFC North for the second time in three years? It’s hard to figure where this team is headed given its lack of resources and draft choices at the moment. Then again, there’s still a lot of days between now, March 18 and eventually April 23.