The Bears finished last season 8-8, much worse than many of us had hoped for. It seems like the media is very negative on the Bears going into 2020. Many have the opener against the Lions as a very even matchup and Vegas has the Lions favored by three points. Last year the Bears won both matchups against Detroit. Let’s look at some of the biggest questions that will determine if the Bears can start 2020 on the right foot.
What will we see from Trubisky?
Matt Nagy announced Mitch Trubisky will be the starting quarterback on Sunday. After the Bears selected Trubisky second overall in 2017, he hasn’t yet lived up to expectations. But let’s not forget ESPN ranked Trubisky as the top QB in the 2017 draft class above Pat Mahomes and Deshaun Watson, so clearly there’s potential. We’ve seen glimpses of that potential and maybe a setting with no fans and no noise where the offense can communicate easily is exactly what he needs. In Trubisky we trust.
How does Jaylon Johnson fit in the CB2 spot?
Kyle Fuller is locked in as the top cornerback, but I’m curious how rookie cornerback Jaylon Johnson will perform as the second corner. The Bears drafted him 50th overall this year. Johnson was a name that came up as a potential late first round pick, but with some injury concerns he fell to the Bears at #50. My concerns are that he’s had no professional experience, usually guys get four preseason games under their belt before week 1 and defenses tend to struggle more with less preparation. However, you can make the same argument for Lions rookie cornerback Jeff Okudah.
What will the Lions Look Like With Stafford back?
The Bears beat the Lions twice last year, but Matthew Stafford didn’t play in either of those. One of those was started by Jeff Driskel, the other by David Blough. The offense will presumably receive a boost, but we’ll have to wait and see just how much.
A few other areas to watch:
Cairo Santos will be the Bears starting kicker after it was announced Eddy Pineiro will miss at least three weeks with a groin injury.
Adrian Peterson and how he will fit into the Lions running scheme. They also have Kerryon Johnson, Ty Johnson and D’Andre Swift on the roster.
Akiem Hicks returns and Robert Quinn joins the defense, hopefully this will gives offenses more to worry about and take the focus off of Khalil Mack. Mack is coming off his first season with below double digit sacks (8.5) since his rookie season.
Eddie Goldman has elected to not participate in the 2020 season, so how will Bilal Nichols do in his absence at the nose tackle position?
All these factors will help dictate the winner come Sunday. It’s going to be odd watching a game with no fans in attendance and you’d think that should help offenses and probably negate a home field advantage, but we’re going to have to wait until game time to know how the game will really look.