The 2019 season was a disappointing one for Bears fans, who will be looking forward to the 2020-21 season after slight improvements during the offseason. The upcoming season will be a make or break year for Mitchell Trubisky and the team as a whole. If the Bears fail to meet expectations, Ryan Pace will have the tough choice of rebuilding or continuing with hope for a relatively mediocre roster. The Bears will have a tough task at hand, and with 4 primetime games, they will be put under pressure on the big stage. Let’s get into predicting each game of the Bears 2020 schedule.
Week 1: Sunday, at Detroit Lions, 1:00 PM EST- (W) 1-0
The Bears have won the last 4 against the Lions, including 2 wins on Thanksgiving at Ford Field. They open the season on the road against a Lions team coming off a 3-win season, rather than against the Packers in primetime like the previous two seasons. The Lions are a better team than they were in 2020, and Matthew Stafford will return from injury, but ultimately the Bears should come out on top by one possession.
Week 2: Sunday, vs New York Giants, 1:00 PM EST- (W) 2-0
2020 will mark the 3rd straight year in which a rebuilding Giants team will square off against the Bears. This game should be an easy victory for the Bears, and the Monsters of the Midway will feast on Daniel Jones and the mediocre Giants offense. Expect the Bears to win by multiple possessions.
Week 3: Sunday, at Atlanta Falcons, 1:00 PM EST- (L) 2-1
The matchup against the Falcons is a very winnable one for the Bears, but ultimately they will fail to match the offensive power of Matt Ryan, Julio Jones, and Todd Gurley. Playing on the road, with or without fans, doesn’t help, but the game should be close down the stretch. This game is also an early candidate for the benching of Mitchell Trubisky, assuming he even starts this game.
Week 4: Sunday, vs Indianapolis Colts, 1:00 PM EST- (L) 2-2
Just like the game against the Falcons, a win for the Bears here is just as plausible as a loss. They are at home against an average team from 2019, but the Colts offense should improve in 2020 under Philip Rivers along with Michael Pittman Jr. and Jonathan Taylor. If Nick Foles starts for the Bears this game, they will have a better chance, but ultimately the winner will come out on top by less than 5 points.
Week 5: Thursday, vs Tampa Bay Buccaneers, 8:20 PM EST- (L) 2-3
The Bears drop their third straight game as pressure builds on Matt Nagy and the coaching staff. The Bucs should win by multiple possessions, as Brady is undefeated against the Bears and their underrated defense will have no trouble shutting down the Bears’ offense, no matter who the quarterback is.
Week 6: Sunday, at Carolina Panthers, 1:00 PM EST- (W) 3-3
This game appears as a trap game on the Bears’ schedule, but they should easily come out on top by a few possessions in a confidence-boosting win. The Panthers are a worse team than the one in 2019 that ended the season with 8 straight losses, so the Bears will have no trouble dominating defensively against one of the league’s worst offensive lines. Expect at least 4 sacks from them.
Week 7: Monday, at Los Angeles Rams, 8:15 PM EST- (W) 4-3
For the 3rd straight year, the Bears take on the Rams in primetime. In 2018, the Bears won a gritty defensive contest in Chicago, but in 2019, the Rams came out on top in LA, winning 17-7. The Bears are a better team in 2020, and if Nick Foles is leading the offense, they will surely put up more than one score. They get one back in 2020 against a Rams team I project to finish with no more than 6 wins in 2020.
Week 8: Sunday, vs New Orleans Saints, 4:25 PM EST- (L) 4-4
After losing $20 in bets last year to Saints fans when the Bears got blown out, I learned the lesson of not picking the Bears against the Saints, who are a Super Bowl contender, and unless Nick Foles turns into the Super Bowl MVP he once was, the Bears are a Wild Card team at best. This game might be closer than last year’s, but the Saints should still have no problem securing a dub.
Week 9: Sunday, at Tennessee Titans, 1:00 PM EST- (L) 4-5
The Bears’ defense, even if fully healthy, will have trouble stopping Derrick Henry and the Titans run game. If Tennessee can get close to resembling the form seen in their recent playoff run, they will have the upper hand in this matchup. However, this game is winnable for the Bears, and an argument could be made in favor of either team.
Week 10: Monday, vs Minnesota Vikings, 8:15 PM EST- (W) 5-5
After dropping 2 straight, the Bears will enter a divisional matchup against the Vikings with a chip on their shoulder. The Bears have won the last 4 contests against the Vikings, and that trend should continue in Week 10. Kirk Cousins struggles in primetime games and there is no indication that he will be able to snap out of the slump in the first of two meetings between the Vikings and Bears.
Week 11: Bye Week, 5-5
Week 12: Sunday, at Green Bay Packers, 8:20 PM EST- (W) 6-5
Coming off a bye, the Bears will have a fighting chance against their most bitter rivals, who had the upper hand in the 2010s. The well-rested Bears will come out firing on all cylinders, and the defense will have no trouble shutting down Davante Adams, the only offensive weapon for the Packers. With this win, they will put themselves in the playoff picture but still trail the Packers for the division lead.
Week 13: Sunday, vs Detroit Lions, 1:00 PM EST- (W) 7-5
The Bears should have an easy matchup at home against a Lions team that will likely have nothing to play for. Detroit is still rebuilding and will likely fail to win a single divisional matchup in 2020. Expect a dominant performance from the Bears.
Week 14: Sunday, vs Houston Texans, 1:00 PM EST- (W) 8-5
The Bears are set for another strong defensive showing as they square off with the Texans, yet another team with a bottom-caliber unit in the trenches. Khalil Mack has a strong chance to rack up 3 sacks against the Texans’ offensive line, and Allen Robinson has a favorable matchup against a weak secondary. The Bears should win convincingly.
Week 15: Sunday, at Minnesota Vikings, 1:00 PM EST- (L) 8-6
After a Week 10 loss to the Bears, the Vikings will surely be hungry for revenge at home. With the comfort of home and absence of the spotlight, Kirk Cousins will perform better than in Week 10. The Bears will put up a respectable fight, but their division rivals ultimately come out on top by one possession.
Week 16: Sunday, at Jacksonville Jaguars, 1:00 PM EST- (W) 9-6
The Jaguars project to be the worst team in the entire league in 2020, so it comes as no surprise that the Bears will rack up a win to clinch a spot in the Wild Card. Nick Foles will have a standout performance against his former team as the Bears rout the Jaguars. It won’t come as a surprise if Mitchell Trubisky, or whoever is QB2 at the time of the game, sees action in the 4th quarter.
Week 17: Sunday, vs Green Bay Packers, 1:00 PM EST (L) 9-7
The Packers, having already clinched the division title, will start Jordan Love in this game, but the Bears won’t be able to capitalize on the opportunity. The game will not be a make-or-break one for the Bears, having already clinched a playoff berth, but all healthy starters will play. Expect a low-scoring affair, with the Packers winning by a few points.
Overall, I predict the Bears to go 9-7 and make the playoffs as the 7th seed. They will likely lose to the 2nd seed, assuming they make the playoffs, but overall, the season will be defined by the re-emergence of Nick Foles as a starting quarterback. With the Packers and Vikings both having worse rosters in 2020, the NFC North title is wide open, and if luck is on their side, the Bears will have a real chance at returning to the icy throne.