Out of all the upstart teams coming off multiple failed seasons, few have flown under the radar as much as the Chicago Bears heading towards Week 1.
Head coach Matt Nagy resting his starters in the third week of preseason action was a bit of a head-scratcher, so we don’t see any movement from Chicago in our NFL power rankings. It might not matter anyway, because the Bears are vastly improved over what was fielded on offense a year ago at this time.
On paper, at least.
Quarterback Mitchell Trubisky has some nice new weapons at his disposal, namely wide receivers Allen Robinson and Taylor Gabriel. If they can stay healthy, and running back Jordan Howard picks up where he left off, the Bears offense might actually be good this season.
Weird to think that.
Defensively, the Bears are in good shape too. True, rookie linebacker Roquan Smith is dealing with a hamstring injury right now. But as long as that clears up, we might see Chicago quietly take a stab at a playoff spot this season.
Update: Acquiring Khalil Mack improves an already budding defense under coordinator Vic Fangio. Chicago would be a riser in rankings.