Football

Our collective is back to review what went down on Sunday and looking ahead to the trip to the Old Empire. 

Considering who was out, and though the Vikings make a habit of being a fraud, that’s a pretty impressive win, no?

Wes French (@WFrenchman): It’s a great win. It’s a win for Nagy and Pagano. It’s a win for the defense, again. It’s a win for the system to get enough points to win an ugly game. This can work, QB position be damned.

But hanging over this big win is a whole lot of uncertainty. How long will Trubisky be sidelined? If he’s out for the season is this Chade Daniel’s show or is there a move to be made? And what about Roquan Smith, late inactive but on the sidelines, and a very expensive wrecked car earlier in the morning on Sunday?
Tony Martin (@MrMartinBruh): There’s an art to winning ugly, and with a defense like this it’s gonna happen a lot. The Roquan stuff is a huge bummer, but hey on the plus side Nick Kwiatkoski flashed all game. The team looked great short handed, I’m just a little worried at how conservative the play calling gets later in the game. 
Brian Schmitz (@_BrianSchmitz) Very impressive. Especially from a piecemeal defensive unit and a backup quarterback. I loved the way Chase Daniel(s) stayed within himself and the offense and relied almost solely on quick read, quick hitters.
They only put up 16 points, so anyone erotically-asphyxiating themselves over Chase Daniel is…well I won’t finish that, but why did the offense look a touch smoother with Daniel in at QB? 

Wes: Accuracy. Daniel isn’t going to get anyone excited about, well, anything. But he can make NFL-caliber throws when given the time because he can read the field. The completion to backup WR Javon Wims down the right sideline in the 3rd quarter was completed because Daniel put it in a spot only Wims could make a play on it. You routinely see that ball sail on Mitch or end up in a 50-50 position. Daniel will run through his reads very quickly as well and put the ball on whoever he feels is the best option that play, or wait until that option develops. He does this by working mostly inside of 10-15 yards, though, so there isn’t much of a big play aspect at all with him under center.

The drawback with Daniel is that he’s essentially immobile. He will give you less than nothing in a broken play/scramble situation and he doesn’t have the arm to hit anything further than the Wims play. The Vikings are a good defense, but this thing could have been well over by the start of the 3rd Q after the Mack strip sack that set up another FG. You can go a long way in this league by capitalizing with touchdowns off turnovers. There were many points left on the field yesterday, but luckily the Bears didn’t need them.
Brian: It’s because Daniel know his athleticism can’t create something out of nothing, so he goes thru his progressions and gets rid of the ball. Nagy’s pass plays were almost solely within a 10 yard window, which of course aids in Daniel’s accuracy, which was very, very good.  
Are we expecting some sort of letdown against the Raiders in London, or the Bears to roll straight through into the bye?
Brian: I don’t expect a letdown because a.) they scored 16 points last week; its not like they came out and lit shit up and b.) I don’t think this defense is capable of a letdown; they truly want to be great and take each opportunity as a challenge. Khalil Mack will most certainly be ready against his old team and a coach he hates.

Wes: I think normally this type of game, being 10 time zones away and all, would scream let down. But I think there’s even more of a sense of urgency to get some things right on offense and roll into the bye with more positivity and get some guys healthy. Khalil Mack might be able to provide motivation for the entire team anyway. He’s already been quoted as saying this is a game he’s been waiting for since the trade. He’s going to make some lifetime fans at Tottenham Hotspur on Sunday.

I think any letdowns this week come in the form of long term news on the injury front and whatever is going on with Roquan Smith.
Tony: This game screams “trap game” to me, but I’m wondering of Khalil Mack can singlehandedly reverse that. I don’t see the Bears scoring much, but the defense is untouchable. If they score two touchdowns, it should be a lock. That’s a big if, though. 
Football

In the NFL, the fortunes of any given team can change in just one play. What would happen to the Patriots if Tom Brady goes down in Week 1? Would the Bears even be a playoff team if Khalil Mack is out for the year? Scenarios like this are what make predicting a team’s record so hard. But, it’s an entertaining exercise, and really enjoyable to look back in March and realize how dumb I was.
So, without further ado, I present my 2019 Chicago Bears prediction:

• Week 1 Vs. Green Bay Packers
I am honestly more excited to see that Aaron Rodgers can do with a new offense than to see how much the Bears can improve after last year’s success. I truly feel like the lack of pre-season game reps will hurt Mitch Trubisky and the Pack will do just enough to win a low scoring affair.

• Week 2 Vs. Denver Broncos
Although traveling to Denver to play at elevation is never easy, I believe the Bears, who will be working off of a 10 day rest, are the more talented team and will win their first game of the season.

• Week 3 Vs. Washington Redskins
Crazy things happen when you play a Monday night road game. Although the Bears are clearly the better team in this matchup, I think they get shocked as a road favorite.

• Week 4 Vs. Minnesota Vikings
Coming off two losses and a short week, the Bears will somehow find a way to beat the Vikings at Soldier Field on a late game…wait for it…43-yard field goal.

• Week 5 Vs. Oakland Raiders
Because they are the better team, the Bears head into the bye week with a close win and even their record vs. the Brothers Gruden at 1-1.

• Week 7 Vs. New Orleans Saints
Coming off a bye week, the Bears return home and get throttled. This is one of the few games of the season where the Bears defense seems overmatched.

• Week 8 Vs. LA Chargers
Back to back games against offense juggernauts poses a problem as the Bears lose their 2nd straight for the 2nd time this season. Things in Chicago are starting to get anxious.

• Week 9 Vs. Philadelphia Eagles
Panic much? The Bears lose their 3rd straight to Eagles in their first road game in almost a month. The realization that playing a 1st-place schedule is starting to set in.

• Week 10 Vs. Detroit Lions
The Lions are exactly what this struggling team needs as the Bears blow out one of the NFL’s worst teams.

• Week 11 Vs. LA Rams
The Bears go 0-for-Los Angeles as the Rams show everyone who the class of the NFL is. Bears move to 0-3 in primetime games this season and have still not beaten a good team on the road.

• Week 12 Vs. NY Giants
A must win for a team that begins a portion of the schedule that becomes increasingly getable. Bears big in this one, which is much needed heading into Thanksgiving.

• Week 13 Vs. Detroit Lions
Three days off don’t matter as the Bears win their second straight overall and sweep the season series from the lowly Lions. This is an impressive win for a team that is having trouble with its own confidence.

• Week 14 Vs. Dallas Cowboys
Another primetime loss as the Bears enter the toughest part of the schedule with their playoff chances slipping away.

• Week 15 Vs. Green Bay Packers
The Bears keep their playoff dreams alive with a road win. The defense shuts down Aaron Rodgers and make up for the season opening loss.

• Week 16 Vs. Kansas City Chiefs
Coming into the game as a home dog, Chicago contains Patrick Mahomes and earns their first primetime win of what has become a very trying season for the offense.

• Week 17 Vs. Minnesota Vikings
With a potential playoff berth on the line, the Bears lay an egg on the road and fail to qualify for the postseason. An offseason full of questions are ahead, especially at the Quarterback position.

Final Record: 8-8 (4-4 Home, 4-4 Away); Do not qualify for playoffs. The City of Chicago burns to the ground.