Last year this time, the Chicago Bears were considered one of the top contenders to represent the NFC in the Super Bowl. Instead, they finished 2019 with a disappointing 8-8 record and very real questions at quarterback. As a result, some pundits have the Bears pegged as one of the NFL's cellar-dwellers in 2020.
It's been a shocking about-face for a team that still has most of its roster from the 2018 season intact. Sure, there have been some changes, but that's commonplace across the league and the Bears have done a good job adding upgrades since then, too.
Robert Quinn is certainly an upgrade over Leonard Floyd, and an argument can be made that Germain Ifedi will provide Chicago with more consistent play at right guard than Kyle Long.
Successful seasons always come down to the quarterback, however, and that's still where the Bears have their biggest question mark. Nick Foles was acquired to challenge Mitch Trubisky for the starting job, but it feels like the winner of the competition will be the guy who earned a C+ instead of a C on the final exam.
As a result, the Bears were recently dubbed this year's biggest mystery team.
Between arguably the biggest quarterback controversy and a defense that's top-notch on paper but lacked the game-changing plays last year, the Bears' expectations are a tough call for 2020. (Matt) Nagy, Trubisky and (Chuck) Pagano have something to prove, and Mack thinks he does as well.
Nagy, like Trubisky, is still an unknown too. He set unreasonable expectations after winning NFL Coach of the Year in his first season on the job, especially considering the turnaround the Bears experienced in 2018. Regression was to be expected last year, but it was how the regression looked that has Nagy under fire. He's supposed to be the young offensive guru; Chicago's offense was among the worst in the league in his second season.
Yes, the Bears are an enigma entering the 2020 season. But, hey, who doesn't love a good mystery?