Bears 2020 schedule: Game-by-game predictions
Bears' 2020 schedule released
It feels odd predicting results of the Bears’ schedule right now, and not just because we’ve known the opponents for the last four months. What will these games look like? Will there be fans? Will all of them even be played? While the NFL released its schedule Thursday night, there still are so many unknowns about the 2020 season.
But for now, let’s assume — hope? — the schedule we know today will be the schedule the Bears play in the fall. Here are my game-by-game predictions for how the Bears’ season will go.
Week 1: @ Detroit Lions - W
Finally, a trip to Detroit that isn’t on Thanksgiving! I’ll miss my Thanksgiving dinner of something off the McDonald’s dollar menu in Kalamazoo, Michigan, which I shared with colleague Cam Ellis last year. Anyways, the Lions are still the worst team in the NFC North, and the Bears should get their first Week 1 win since 2013.
Week 2: New York Giants - W
It’s tough to see the Giants being significantly better in 2020 than they were last year without Daniel Jones taking a major step forward. Let’s just hope this game is a little more exciting than last year’s ugly 19-14 snoozefest at Soldier Field.
Week 3: @ Atlanta Falcons - L
I’m buying the Falcons’ strong finish to 2019 (four straight wins, including one in San Francisco) as a sign of things to come in 2020. This offense is still good and will be really interesting if they get anything out of Todd Gurley. If Dan Quinn can fix Atlanta’s defense, this is a playoff-caliber team — one that’ll be tough to beat on the road.
Week 4: Indianapolis Colts - L
That the Colts were a few Adam Vinatieri missed kicks away from potentially making the playoffs last year (did you watch the Colts game?) points to how good a coach Frank Reich is. The additions of Philip Rivers and DeForest Buckner put this roster over the top in 2020, and I wouldn’t be shocked if they represented the AFC in the Super Bowl. This will be one of the Bears’ toughest games.
Week 5: Tampa Bay Buccaneers (TNF) - W
The Bears actually out-scored Tom Brady’s Patriots offense back in 2018, 31-24, but New England was boosted by two special teams touchdowns in a 38-31 win (with Kevin White coming about a yard from scoring a game-tying Hail Mary!). Tampa Bay has a ton of weapons around Brady and Gronk, but what if Brady’s last year with the Patriots was more about him aging in his 40s than sub-par talent around him? Also, “Tompa Bay” is dumber than believing drinking water prevents sunburns. Bears win.
Week 6: @ Carolina Panthers - W
The 2020 Panthers feel a little like the 2019 Dolphins — a team with just enough good talent and coaching to not completely tank for the No. 1 overall pick. This might be a feisty game, but it’s one the Bears should win.
Week 7: @ LA Rams (MNF) - W
The Leonard Floyd revenge game! It’s probably not a good thing that two of the first three Google searches for “Leonard Floyd Rams” are “PFF: Leonard Floyd signing was Rams’ worst move in free agency” and “Have the LA Rams buyer’s remorse over OLB Leonard Floyd?” This is a team with a ton of high-end talent but questionable depth, and an even more questionable quarterback. The Bears will go into LA’s brand-new SoFi Stadium and emerge with a win here.
Week 8: New Orleans Saints - L
It’s been six years since Drew Brees started a game at Soldier Field, which feels crazy until you remember the Saints have been good in the last six years and the Bears, mostly, have been bad. Brees missed last October’s Saints’ blowout win, and assuming he plays this year, New Orleans will leave Chicago with a win, too.
Week 9: @ Tennessee Titans - W
The Titans’ incredible run to the AFC championship tees them up as a legitimate contender in 2020, but the Bears’ defense has generally fared well against run/play action-heavy offenses over the last few years. If fans are allowed, this should feel like a home game for the Bears — but even if not, this should be a low-scoring, gritty win for Chicago on the road.
Week 10: Minnesota Vikings (MNF) - W
The last time the Bears played the Vikings on Monday Night Football, Mitch Trubisky made his NFL debut. Will he even start this game? Or will it even matter, seeing how bad Kirk Cousins has been in his two previous trips to Soldier Field with the Vikings? Best guess is that the answer to both questions is “probably not.”
Week 12: @ Green Bay Packers - L
While I’m expecting the Packers to regress from last year’s 13-3 record, they’re still a good team and still have Aaron Rodgers. It’s usually not a smart bet to go against Rodgers at Lambeau Field.
Week 13: Detroit Lions - W
Matt Nagy has out-coached Matt Patricia in all four of their meetings. I don’t see any reason why that changes in 2020.
Week 14: Houston Texans - L
Patrick Mahomes counted to 10 after scoring a touchdown when Kansas City came to Chicago in 2019. Will DeShaun Watson count to 12? Either way, while I’m not super high on the Texans in 2020, Watson is a great quarterback who can win anywhere he goes. The narrative around this game — whether Trubisky is starting or not — will be off the charts.
Week 15: @ Minnesota Vikings - L
Mike Zimmer finally beats Matt Nagy. The Vikings are a good team, and good teams usually don’t lose at home in divisional games.
Week 16: @ Jacksonville Jaguars - W
The Nick Foles revenge game (maybe)! The Jaguars should be the NFL’s worst team in 2020, and no matter who’s starting at quarterback for the Bears, this should be a piece of cake. The only way Jacksonville wins is if the game is actually a best mustache contest.
Week 17: Green Bay Packers - W
Finally, the Bears will end a season at home after three straight years of finishing seasons in Minnesota. A lot could be on the line in this one, and a lot will happen between now and late December... but my gut tells me a good Bears team will win, no matter the stakes.
Final record: 10-6
I think this is enough to get the Bears in the playoffs, especially with the field expanding to seven teams in each conference this year. It’d be awesome if, by the time January 2021 rolls around, fans could be back in the stands. Here’s hoping.