Allen Robinson

2020 Bears Schedule: Will Gardner Minshew mania grip Jacksonville again?

2020 Bears Schedule: Will Gardner Minshew mania grip Jacksonville again?

The game

The Bears will make a late-season visit to Jacksonville on Dec. 27. The last time the Bears faced the Jaguars, Jacksonville prevailed 17-16 on Oct. 16, 2016, thanks to a late TD pass from Blake Bortles to former Fighting Illini wide receiver Arrelious Benn. Rest assured, there will be some extra motivation on the sideline this time around, as former Jaguars Nick Foles and Allen Robinson face their ex-teammates.

Player to watch

The Bears will be facing the man who replaced Foles as Jaguars starting QB last season, Gardner Minshew. In 14 games, he threw for nearly 3,300 yards with 21 TD and 6 INT, but Jacksonville ranked just 26th in the league in total scoring and limped to a 6-10 record. Entering his first full season as the unquestioned starter, Minshew will have DJ Chark as a top target after the wideout exploded onto the scene last season.

RELATED: Bears 2020 schedule: Game-by-game predictions

Additions and subtractions

One defensive standout to keep an eye on is Yannick Ngakoue, Jacksonville’s best pass-rusher who had the franchise tag placed on him but has repeatedly demanded a trade. Whether or not a trade partner is found will be the biggest issue facing the team as they head toward training camp, whenever that may be. Jacksonville also added talented but injury-plagued tight end Tyler Eifert in free agency.

Key storyline

Since their tough loss in the 2018 AFC Championship game to the Patriots, the Jaguars have torn their roster to shreds as they move into the next era of their franchise. Standout players sent packing over the last year or so include Calais Campbell, Jalen Ramsey, A.J. Bouye, Marcell Dareus, and of course, Nick Foles.

New GM David Caldwell is nearly done purging the roster, and that means this Jacksonville team will be playing the long game and likely setting themselves up for a top pick in next year’s draft.

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Where do the Bears' wide receivers rank among NFL pass-catchers?

Where do the Bears' wide receivers rank among NFL pass-catchers?

Chicago Bears wide receiver Allen Robinson is one of the most underrated offensive skill players in the entire NFL. His 98 catches for 1,147 yards and seven touchdowns in 2019 was a remarkable stat line considering the underwhelming play from quarterbacks Mitch Trubisky and Chase Daniel all year. Yet, A-Rob is rarely mentioned among the game's elite wideouts.

He's also not enough to carry Chicago's wide receiver corps to a respectable ranking from Pro Football Focus, who slotted the Bears' pass-catchers 27th out of 32 teams.

Allen Robinson II may be getting the best quarterback play he’s ever seen with Nick Foles getting the opportunity to win the starting job over Mitchell Trubisky. The fact that Robinson has been able to be as productive as he has (84.9 career receiving grade) despite dealing with Trubisky and Blake Bortles at quarterback is a testament to just how talented he is. Chicago still is probably a little short in the receiving department heading into 2020, however. They ended last season ranked tied for 28th in team receiving grade, and their major additions consisted of Ted Ginn Jr., Darnell Mooney, Jimmy Graham and Cole Kmet. None of those players seem likely to move the needle significantly next season.

This isn't a completely unfair assessment of the state of the Bears' receivers. Aside from Robinson, Chicago has a collection of question marks. Will Anthony Miller finally live up to his second-round pedigree? Is Javon Wims ready to take advantage of his physical attributes? How much does Ginn have left in the tank? 

The Bears don't need much to flip this narrative in 2020. If Miller (or Wims or even Riley Ridley) breakout as a quality complementary receiver, Chicago's pass-catchers will instantly become one of the more formidable groups in the league.

Until then, the expectations remain low for the Bears offense.

How many receiving yards will Bears wide receiver Allen Robinson have in 2020?

How many receiving yards will Bears wide receiver Allen Robinson have in 2020?

Chicago Bears wide receiver Allen Robinson's arrow is pointing up after a 2019 season in which he totaled 98 catches for 1,147 yards and seven touchdowns. His return to 100 percent health was obvious. A-Rob regained his explosive route-running and contested-catch dominance that once made him one of the most promising receivers in the NFL.

And just think: He's only 26 years old.

Robinson will enter 2020 with a chance to have the best year of his career. He'll likely be catching passes from the most consistent quarterback he's ever played with in Nick Foles. It'll be hard -- but not impossible -- for him to top his 1,400-yard, 14 touchdown season in 2015. 

According to ESPN's over/under prediction for A-Rob's 2020 season, he'll have a chance. Jeff Dickerson is taking the over on Robinson's Las Vegas line of 1,024.5 yards.

"The Bears had the NFL's 29th-ranked offense last season," Dickerson wrote, "yet Robinson still caught 98 passes for 1,147 yards. Chicago's quarterback position is bound to improve with the arrival of veteran Nick Foles, who many believe will wrestle the starting job away from Mitchell Trubisky. Robinson is only 26 years old and in the prime of his career. Barring an injury, Robinson should add another 1,000-yard receiving season to his résumé in 2020."

The Bears are betting that third-year wide receiver Anthony Miller will take the next step in his development opposite Robinson as a starter, and the additions of Jimmy Graham and Cole Kmet at tight end should provide the passing game with a higher level of production at the position. But the offense will still run through Robinson and as a result (assuming he stays healthy), this is an easy bet.

Robinson's production floor is the numbers he generated last season. He should threaten for 100 catches again. If he does, and with a better deep-ball thrower behind center, A-Rob could become just the fifth player in franchise history to eclipse 1,300 single-season receiving yards.

RELATED: Who Anthony Miller is studying to improve his game this offseason

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