3 Moves the Bears Should Make to Get Back into the Playoffs in 2020
After dominating the 2018-19 regular season, the Chicago Bears fell off in a big way this past year. The offense struggled under Mitchell Trubisky, finishing as the fourth-worst scoring unit in the league, and even the defense regressed, holding opponents to the seventh-fewest points per game (PPG) in 2019 (No. 1 in 2018).
Despite that drop in production, the Bears are one of the most talented teams in the league on paper, and they might only be a few key additions away from another playoff run. With that in mind, here are three moves Chicago should make to get back into the playoffs.
1. Trade for or Sign Andy Dalton
Most NFL analysts believe that the Cincinnati Bengals will select Joe Burrow with the No. 1 pick in the NFL Draft come April. Theoretically, that should mean the Bengals will either release or look to trade Dalton, and Chicago is a natural fit. While Dalton isn't the flashiest name, he's proven he can be a solid passer in the right situation – and given Trubisky's play, solid is all Chicago needs. With a talented skill-position group and an innovative, offensive-minded coach in Matt Nagy, Dalton could elevate this offense instantly, allowing the defense to wreak havoc in the NFC North.
2. Shore Up the Offensive Line
Long-time Bear Kyle Long retired at the end of the season, and Chicago needs to make revamping the O-Line a priority. The Bears' signal-callers were tied for the league's 10th-highest sack rate, and Chicago's running backs were tied for the third-fewest yards per carry in the NFL. Whether it's through the draft or free agency, building an offensive line that can open up holes in the running game and protect the passer is a must. The lack of a first-round pick (and significant cap space) will hurt, but even with limited resources, improving the line would go a long way.
3. Find a Pass-Rusher Opposite Khalil Mack
Chicago has the luxury of employing, arguably, the best edge-rusher in the NFL. But the Bears haven't been able to nail down a second threat off the edge since trading for Khalil Mack. Leonard Floyd has often shown flashes of being that guy, but he hasn't been able to put it all together on a consistent basis, posting a combined seven sacks over the past two seasons. Again, due to limited financial resources, Chicago might have to turn to the draft, where a second-round pick like Notre Dame's Julian Okwara could make a ton of sense. If the Bears can find a way to complement Mack off the edge, Chicago could return to its 2018 dominance.
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Max Staley is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, Max Staley also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username mstaley1212. While the strategies and player selections recommended in his articles are his personal views, he may deploy different strategies and player selections when entering contests with his personal account. The views expressed in their articles are the author's alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of FanDuel.