With as much optimism as the Bears have built this offseason, they haven’t won anything yet in 2018. Fans have plenty of reason to be excited, but the team still has to prove itself on Sundays before national respect will follow.
So when ESPN’s analytics team runs its models for the upcoming season, it’s no surprise that Chicago isn’t well liked.
Their “Football Power Index” tries to predict games based on expected points per play, and the analytics don’t favor the Bears this season.
ESPN’s FPI has them favored in only four games this season, all at home versus the Seahawks, Buccaneers, Jets and Lions. Their most favored game is Week 8 against New York.
Chicago sits just below 50 percent probability against the Dolphins, Bills and Rams, but the FPI has them with very little chance against the Packers in Week 1 and Vikings in Week 17. Overall, they have a 5.8 percent chance to win the division and a 0.2 percent chance to win the Super Bowl, with 6.8 total projected wins this year.
ESPN does see the Bears’ defense finishing in the Top 10 once again, but they project Matt Nagy’s offense to rank only 26th in the NFL.
Analytics are largely based on statistics from previous seasons, so Chicago’s struggles from last year are likely impacting their predictions for 2018. If the new-look Bears start putting up big numbers in Nagy’s first year, the analytics models will turn in their favor.