The Chicago Bears Game head into the 2020 season with one massive question mark: Who will open the year as the starting quarterback?
Mitchell Trubisky enters his fourth season in the NFL after going 8-7 in 2019 with a quarterback rating of 83.
Challenging him for the job he’s held for the last three years is Nick Foles. The Bears acquired the journeyman quarterback from the Jacksonville Jaguars for a fourth-round pick to compete with the North Carolina product for the starting role.
Chicago took a massive step back in 2019 but is now looking to regain its footing as a Super Bowl contender. Fortunately, it still has a defense that’s capable of pushing them there.
Chicago Bears Schedule
Week 1: vs Detroit Lions on Sept. 13 at 1 p.m. ET
Week 2: vs New York Giants on Sept. 20 at 1 p.m. ET
Week 3: vs Atlanta Falcons on Sept. 27 at 1 p.m. ET
Week 4: vs Indianapolis Colts on Oct. 4 at 1 p.m. ET
Week 5: vs Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Oct. 8 at 8:20 p.m. ET
Week 6: vs Carolina Panthers on Oct. 18 at 1 p.m. ET
Week 7: vs Los Angeles Rams on Oct. 26 8:15 p.m. ET
Week 8: vs New Orleans Saints on Nov. 1 at 4:25 p.m. ET
Week 9: vs Tennessee Titans on Nov. 8 at 1 p.m. ET
Week 10: vs Minnesota Vikings on Nov. 16 at 8:15 p.m. ET
Week 11: BYE
Week 12: vs Green Bay Packers on Nov. 29 at 8:20 p.m. ET
Week 13: vs Detroit Lions on Dec. 6 at 1 p.m. ET
Week 14: vs Houston Texans on Dec. 13 at 1 p.m. ET
Week 15: vs Minnesota Vikings on Dec. 20 at 1 p.m. ET
Week 16: vs Jacksonville Jaguars on Dec. 27 at 1 p.m. ET
Week 17: vs Green Bay Packers on Jan. 3 at 1 p.m. ET
There may not be a worse year for the Bears to have to face the NFC South. Between Tom Brady landing with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, the New Orleans Saints re-upping Drew Brees and the Atlanta Falcons adding running back Todd Gurley, the division has an argument as the toughest in the NFL.
For a Chicago team looking for a rebound year, that doesn’t make for an easy road. Fortunately for the Bears, they have been bolstered by a few reinforcements.
Aside from Quinn and Foles, the team added tight end Jimmy Graham, offensive lineman Germain Ifedi and cornerback Artie Burns and drafted Cole Kmet and Jaylon Johnson. Considering both the Green Bay Packers and Minnesota Vikings advanced to the postseason out of the NFC North last year, the Bears have to hope that’s enough.
Both the Vikings and Packers won at least 10 games in 2019, with Green Bay winning the division at 13-3.
Will Foles and Quinn help the Bears reach double-digit wins for the second time in 10 years? That’s the gamble here.
Injuries and poor play forced the Jaguars to move on from Foles one year after handing him a four-year, $88 million contract.
If the Bears are getting the 2017 version of the signal-caller who led the Philadelphia Eagles to the Super Bowl after starter Carson Wentz went down, they’ll have as good a shot at winning the NFC North as any team; if it’s the Foles who’s prone to turnovers like when he had back-to-back years of 10 interceptions in 2014 and 2015, Chicago may not be better off than it was in 2019.
That’s assuming Foles wins the starting job over Trubisky—hardly a guarantee after the 31-year-old passed for just 736 yards, three touchdowns and two interceptions in four games last year, losing them all.
Trubisky finished the season with 3,138 yards, 17 touchdowns and 10 picks. His quarterback rating dropped from 95.4 in 2018 to 83.0 in 2019. That’s not the step a third-year pro is supposed to take. His completion percentage dropped from 66.6 to 63.2 while he attempted 82 more passes in 2019.
There is hardly any room for error if the Bears are going to succeed this year, not with the Tennessee Titans, Los Angeles Rams and Houston Texans rounding out the schedule. The NFL gave the Bears no breaks as they look to get back on track this season.
Success is still the standard. The question remains what happens if head coach Matt Nagy falls short.
It’s not just the big names on the schedule the Bears need to look out for; it’s the revenge games, as well.
The Bears face Jacksonville in Week 16 as Foles returns to TIAA Bank Field. In Week 12 and Week 17, Graham will see his former team, the Green Bay Packers, in what’s already a rivalry game for Chicago. And Quinn will face the team that drafted him, the Los Angeles Rams, in Week 7.
But the most anticipated non-divisional matchup will occur Week 5 on Thursday Night Football when the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Brady visit Soldier Field.
The 42-year-old quarterback is 5-0 against Chicago in his career, throwing for 14 touchdowns on just four interceptions in those games. Overcoming Brady and a Bucs team with Super Bowl aspirations will be among the few true litmus tests for the Bears this season.
Chicago will face six teams from the 2019 postseason, along with two more in the Bucs and Rams who are capable of reaching the playoffs.
If that’s not enough, the Bears will face the Indianapolis Colts in Week 4, a rematch of Super Bowl XLI.