On paper, it would appear that the Bears have a tall task ahead of them Sunday at Soldier Field. The New Orleans Saints are 5-1, have a fantastic cast of skill players on offense, and are entering Week 7 with one of the NFL's hottest defenses.
The Bears, on the other hand, lost in Week 5 to the Oakland Raiders and have spent the bye week rehabbing quarterback Mitch Trubisky and putting right guard Kyle Long and defensive tackle Akiem Hicks on injured reserve.
But fear not! The expert picks are rolling in, and the Bears are the preferred choice in Week 7.
According to NFL Pick Watch, 53 percent of experts polled are taking Chicago to win in a game that may not be an upset victory after all. The Bears opened the week as a 3.5-point favorite, and while the line has dipped by a 1/2 point, the game is at least expected to be close.
It's possible the Bears are the popular choice because of the injuries to Brees and running back Alvin Kamara, whose status for Week 7 is up in the air. Kamara is dealing with ankle and knee issues and is trending toward being a game-time decision. If he's forced to miss the game, Chicago's defense, which has the ability to shut down the Saints even with a healthy Kamara, will have one less (major) thing to worry about.
Kickoff between the Bears and Saints is scheduled for 3:25 p.m. CT on Sunday, Oct. 21.
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Now that the Bears' 2019 season is essentially over, it's time to start paying closer attention to the 2020 NFL draft order. Even without a first-round pick, the Bears hold two valuable selections in the second round.
Last year's Khalil Mack trade included the Raiders' second-round selection this April. After Chicago's loss to the Rams and Oakland's victory over the Bengals, those two second-rounders are currently the 46th and 51st picks overall. To put that in perspective, last year's 46th pick was cornerback Greedy Williams (Browns) and the 51st pick was wide receiver A.J. Brown (Titans). Both are promising players who will be starters in the NFL for a long time.
And let's not forget the Bears have some history with the 51st selection. They used it in 2018 to select wide receiver Anthony Miller, who despite not having the year many expected from him in 2019, still offers playmaking upside as a starter in Matt Nagy's offense moving forward.
Here is the current 2020 NFL draft order entering Week 12:
1. Bengals (0-10)
2. Redskins (1-9)
3. Giants (2-8)
4. Dolphins (2-8)
5. Jets (3-7)
6. Buccaneers (3-7)
7. Broncos (3-7)
8. Falcons (3-7)
9. Cardinals (3-7-1)
10. Lions (3-6-1)
11. Chargers (4-7)
12. Jaguars (4-6)
13. Browns (4-6)
14. Raiders (from Bears) (4-6)
15. Eagles (5-5)
16. Dolphins (from Steelers) (5-5)
17. Titans (5-5)
18. Panthers (5-5)
19. Raiders (6-4)
20. Jaguars (from Rams) (6-4)
21. Cowboys (6-4)
22. Colts (6-4)
23. Dolphins (from Texans) (6-4)
24. Vikings (8-3)
25. Chiefs (7-4)
26. Bills (7-3)
27. Packers (8-2)
28. Seahawks (8-2)
29. Ravens (8-2)
30. Saints (8-2)
31. Patriots (9-1)
32. 49ers (9-1)
Even after scoring seven points in a loss that basically eliminated them from playoff contention, the Bears didn't see a lot of movement in the Power Rankings. People are just kind of confused. Was Mitch Trubisky injured? Was he benched? We he benched because he was injured? The Bears' losses have gotten weirder and weirder as the season's gone on. Here's what they're saying:
NFL.com – #23
Mitchell Trubisky exited Sunday night's loss to the Rams with a hip injury, but you can forgive the general public for wondering if Bears coach Matt Nagy was looking for a way out.
ESPN – #20
All Kwiatkoski does is make plays when given the opportunity. The reserve linebacker has been pressed into action multiple times this season because of issues with Roquan Smith and Danny Trevathan, and Kwiatkoski has responded each time.
Bleacher Report – #19
The Chicago Bears are toast. They aren't going to repeat as NFC North champions. Or make a second consecutive trip to the postseason.
Yahoo! Sports – #21
I think I believe the Bears when they say Mitchell Trubisky’s hip was hurting. It’s also hard to believe he would have come out of the game under better circumstances.
USA Today – #23
Khalil Mack was completely shut out of box score Sunday night despite going against Rams offense line that's been much maligned this year.
CBS Sports – #21
What's going on with Mitch Trubisky? Was he really hurt, leading to his benching? This thing has gone bad in a big way.
Sporting News – #20
The Bears' defense is doing its best to hold up with the offense remaining anemic, save for a few random big plays. A bad break-up seems more imminent for Matt Nagy and Mitchell Trubisky in one way or another.