PFT preseason power rankings No. 30: Chicago Bears

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Quarterback is such an important position in the NFL that it’s almost impossible to overpay for a good one. But the biggest question facing the Bears heading into the 2017 season is whether they overpaid for two bad ones.

The twin surprising decisions to sign Mike Glennon to a three-year, $45 million contract and then to trade up to the second overall pick and draft Mitchell Trubisky have led to a great deal of scrutiny on the Bears. If Chicago had just spent the $6 million or so it would have taken to retain Brian Hoyer for another year, and the $2 million or so it would have taken to retain Matt Barkley for another year, and then drafted Trubisky with the third overall pick instead of trading up to second overall, there wouldn’t be nearly as much scrutiny.

But the Bears apparently think that by taking chances on Glennon and Trubisky, they’re likely to find that one of them is the long-term answer at quarterback. That will likely mean Glennon starting at first and Trubisky getting every opportunity to supplant him at some point during the season. If one of the quarterbacks shows promise this season, great. If not, the Bears are in big trouble.

Biggest positive change: The Bears will be healthier this year. How do we know that? Because they had so many injuries last year that they simply have to be healthier this year. FootballOutsiders.com uses a statistic called Adjusted Games Lost that factors in not just how many players missed games but how important those players were (so a starter missing time hurts more than a backup missing time), and how many players were ineffective because they were playing through injuries that had them listed as questionable on the injury report. Football Outsiders injury data goes back to 2000, and in that time no team was hit worse by injuries than the 2016 Bears. Regression toward the mean suggests that the Bears will be much healthier in 2017.

Biggest negative change: The biggest negative change, really, is not much change at all: The Bears were 3-13 last year, and it’s hard to see where they’ve really improved significantly. The players they have should be healthier than last year, but is the talent any better? It doesn’t look that way, which is why it’s easy to envision another last-place finish in the NFC North.

Coaching thermometer: John Fox’s seat isn’t exactly a boiling 212 degrees, but it’s probably around 175: He was brought in to replace Marc Trestman, who was fired after going 13-19 in two seasons, and Fox himself has done even worse, going 9-23 in two seasons. If the Bears aren’t showing signs of improvement at the end of the season, Fox may be sent packing.

We’d like to crack a beer with . . . Jordan Howard. We’d like to get a beer or two in Howard and hear whether he’s envious at all of Ezekiel Elliott for being drafted into a much better situation than Howard was. As a rookie running back in Chicago last year, Howard finished second in the NFL in rushing yards, behind only Elliott. Yet Elliott was doing it on a good team, behind perhaps the league’s best offensive line, while Howard was doing it on a lousy team in Chicago. If Howard thinks he deserves a lot of the credit Elliott is getting (not to mention something more like Elliott’s four-year, $25 million rookie contract, as opposed to Howard’s four-year, $2.6 million contract), it would be hard to blame him.

How they can prove us wrong: If either Glennon or Trubisky emerges as a good starting quarterback, Howard has another strong season and Fox gets his defense shaped up, it’s easy to see a healthier Bears team being a lot better than our No. 30 ranking suggests. But even if the Bears improve significantly, they’re likely to miss the playoffs for the seventh straight season.

45 responses to “PFT preseason power rankings No. 30: Chicago Bears

  1. John Lynch had to have said he had a serious offer for #2 otherwise the Bears trading up makes no sense. I rarely see that posted in articles that reference the trade. Whether Lynch actually had one or not will probably never be known, but to imply that the Bears are dumb enough to trade up for zero reason is ridiculous.

  2. .
    The Jets most certainly would have had an offer on the table for Trubiski. They had pick #6 plus players /future picks to exchange.

    One can now see the QB desperation mode they must have been in on draft day, as they announced they’re tanking the upcoming season only a few days following their failure to land a top flight signal caller in the draft
    .

  3. exinsidetrader says:
    Jul 11, 2017 8:53 AM
    Only thing more mismanaged the last decade than the Bears is the City of Chicago. Fitting.
    ———————————-
    That other Chicagoan mismanaged the whole country for most of the last decade.

  4. I love how critics have blasted Cutler and the bears qb’s for years yet are upset that they did not resign captain check down and dared draft a young qb they consider a franchise qb. their biggest problem as you pointed out were injuries especially on the defense and they hopefully should be healthier this season which will make them much better than the 30th team in the league. as for Glennon why does everyone forget he had a good rookie year? his problem was the bucs hired lovie smith as their coach who ended his career for all practical matters when he was hired. he was not beaten out for the job but had it taken away for josh freaking McCown. and after that proved such a success they drafted winston, now tell me he had any chance to beat him out with a straight face.

  5. Certainly hope you’re right about regressing back toward the injury mean. BOTH of Fox’s years were horrible from an injury standpoint. Two years could conceivably be bad luck, THREE years is a pattern…

    I’m seeing a lot of gambles by the current staff… one gamble is Glennon > Hoyer or Barkley. Time will tell on that one… it’s an interesting, unconventional gamble… I’m hoping it pays off…

  6. 6ball says:
    Jul 11, 2017 8:59 AM
    .
    The Jets most certainly would have had an offer on the table for Trubiski. They had pick #6 plus players /future picks to exchange.

    One can now see the QB desperation mode they must have been in on draft day, as they announced they’re tanking the upcoming season only a few days following their failure to land a top flight signal caller in the draft
    ___________________________
    The best selection in the ENTIRE draft was the Jets NOT taking a QB at #6! Not one of those highly touted QBs were worth even a 2nd round pick.

    Chicago blew the #2 overall pick plus 2 more selections on a guy with how many college starts? 13? 12? I can’t remember. Against middling competition besides. While Trubisky may be the smartest and most “talented” among the group, he’ll be lucky to have a Tim Couch type career…

  7. Nice try Bears, but you have to get up pretty early in the morning to try and usurp the Lions rightful place for the last spot in the North, let alone the 30th rank.

    #frauds

  8. Worst to First…….. I think it’s possible. The rest of the NFC north has not done much to improve. Stranger things have happened…..

  9. The Glennon contract is a glorified one year deal. They have plenty of cap room so it’s not preventing them from signing other players. Keeping Hoyer and Barkley does nothing for them long term. Ryan Pace was aggressive in addressing the QB position and Bears fans should be OK with that, especially considering their history.

  10. The Trubisky pick is Ryan Pace’s career move; career maker or career breaker, only time will tell.

    There were three QBs all kind of rated the same in this draft. With the Bears at number three, one of them would have had to still be available no matter what. After the Browns took Garrett, no matter what SF did, two of the three would still have been available. And yet, Pace paid big to be absolutely sure he got Trubisky. This was his guy. No question about it. He obviously saw enough there to stake his entire career on it. Believe it or not, this Packer fan hopes he was right.

  11. igotgamenj says:
    Jul 11, 2017 9:24 AM
    As a Miami fan I would like to thank the Bears organization
    for letting Adam Gase go.
    ——————————

    and what has that gotten you? 1 winning season and a playoff beatdown by the steelers?… you’re welcome I guess.

  12. How could Bears have kept hold of Hoyer for a mere $6M? He became UFA this year and 49ers bagged him on a 2yr $12M deal.

    And why more scrutiny over Glennon & Trubisky than Hoyer, Barkley & Trubisky? It seems clear they hope Trubisky is a future franchise who might take 2-3yrs to flourish and if not then think Glennon is the better prospect than Hoyer while they look at future drafts. Plus Hoyer probably wanted to re-unite with Shanahan anyway.

  13. Its so cool how people get so defensive when you criticize Obama like they know him personally. Also if you don’t agree with his policies, you’re racist. Sorry

  14. Does anyone know why Chicago handed Glennon 18 million to be a loser and to take snaps, while wasting everyone’s time for a season?

    Why wouldn’t you pay someone else who can come much cheaper to do that?

    Fascinating to watch this mental illness channel down to many franchises in this league now.

    Unbelievable.

  15. igotgamenj says:
    Jul 11, 2017 9:24 AM
    As a Miami fan I would like to thank the Bears organization
    for letting Adam Gase go.
    ————————————————
    Seriously! who did they beat last year!?! Jets twice, Bills twice, 49ers, Rams and Cleveland in OT… not really inspiring victories.

    Looking at the 2017 schedule they will be lucky to get 5 wins this year.

  16. Fox News says voters by a wide majority picked the Bears to appear in and win the Super Bowl in 2017 so Glennon will do something right for certain.WORLD CHAMPS,DA BEARS!!

  17. kabasaman says:
    Jul 11, 2017 9:35 AM

    Worst to First…….. I think it’s possible. The rest of the NFC north has not done much to improve. Stranger things have happened…..
    ______

    No. They haven’t.

  18. nathanp2013 says:
    Jul 11, 2017 10:59 AM
    igotgamenj says:
    Jul 11, 2017 9:24 AM
    As a Miami fan I would like to thank the Bears organization
    for letting Adam Gase go.
    ————————————————
    Seriously! who did they beat last year!?! Jets twice, Bills twice, 49ers, Rams and Cleveland in OT… not really inspiring victories.

    Looking at the 2017 schedule they will be lucky to get 5 wins this year.
    ————-
    I think your math is a little off. They were 3-13 last year, bruh.

  19. The Almighty Cabbage says:
    Jul 11, 2017 9:40 AM
    The Trubisky pick is Ryan Pace’s career move; career maker or career breaker, only time will tell.
    ——————————————–

    EXACTLY. And for a GM it’s a big freaking deal because these guys don’t typically get another shot at being a GM.

    If it turns out Trubisky is great, he looks like a genius. If it turns out he’s a bust, he’s going to be canned anyway and never work as a GM again… so why not give it a shot. Especially if you’re not planning on being there in two or three years if you don’t hit on your gamble. So if you hamstring the team on your way out the door… eh.

  20. LOL. Couldn’t happen to a more deserving fan base. Go dip your bread in some more olive oil, and go eat another meatball sandwich, you tough guy clowns.

  21. It’s going to be fascinating to see how the QB thing plays out. Obviously the head coach was shut out of the process for the first-round pick. Fox hates QBs. If his OC calls 3 passing plays in a row, he tells him, “stop throwing the F-ing ball.” I can promise that when he found out they were trading up to #2, he wanted Thomas.

    5-11 sounds about right.

  22. streetyson says:
    Jul 11, 2017 9:53 AM

    How could Bears have kept hold of Hoyer for a mere $6M? He became UFA this year and 49ers bagged him on a 2yr $12M deal.

    And why more scrutiny over Glennon & Trubisky than Hoyer, Barkley & Trubisky? It seems clear they hope Trubisky is a future franchise who might take 2-3yrs to flourish and if not then think Glennon is the better prospect than Hoyer while they look at future drafts. Plus Hoyer probably wanted to re-unite with Shanahan anyway.
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    Agred. Pace may also think Glennon is a decent gamble based on his promising rookie year and knowing that Glennon “got Lovie’d” after that.

    Glennon isn’t being overpaid by much, if at all, based on what some mid-level Quarterbacks are making today. I believe his deal is also structured so that the Bears can move on after only a year or two without taking a big cap hit.

    I’m not completely convinced about Fox either way. The Bears have underwhelmed but the prior regime didn’t leave Fox much to work with; and what they did leave him was pretty much decimated by injuries last year. I don’t think this year is necessarily “make or break” for Fox but I can’t picture him hanging around for more than another year or two if things don’t get drastically better.

  23. @niners816 says:
    Jul 11, 2017 11:11 AM
    I think your math is a little off. They were 3-13 last year, bruh.
    ==================================he was talking about Miami……………..bruh!!!!!!!

  24. Keeping Hoyer and Barkley wasn’t the answer, and Glennon is a decent stop-gap until Trubisky is ready…That said, they should have stayed at #3 and taken Mahomes if Trubisky was gone at #2.

  25. cmoney20 says:
    Jul 11, 2017 10:18 AM
    Its so cool how people get so defensive when you criticize Obama like they know him personally. Also if you don’t agree with his policies, you’re racist. Sorry

    —————–

    Lol. So what about the guy that evaluated each policy individually liking some and not liking others solely on the basis of their merits and without inserting any bias for or against the man that did it? (And doing it this way for all presidents)

  26. kcchefs58 says:

    Jul 11, 2017 8:40 AM

    John Lynch had to have said he had a serious offer for #2 otherwise the Bears trading up makes no sense.
    – – – – –
    Orrr, he was bluffing to get the Bears to ‘blink’ and offer up a bunch of extra picks !

    Nahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh !!!!!!

  27. Another says:
    Jul 11, 2017 2:51 PM

    Lol. So what about the guy that evaluated each policy individually liking some and not liking others solely on the basis of their merits and without inserting any bias for or against the man that did it? (And doing it this way for all presidents)

    _________________________________

    That practice in itself seems kind of racist IMO

  28. boiler72 says:
    Jul 11, 2017 12:06 PM
    LOL. Couldn’t happen to a more deserving fan base. Go dip your bread in some more olive oil, and go eat another meatball sandwich, you tough guy clowns.

    —————————————————————–

    What exactly happened to the fan base? Are we not playing the season?

  29. Only thing more mismanaged the last decade than the Bears is the City of Chicago. Fitting.
    ..……………………………………………………..
    LOL Have you seen Detroit? St. Louis? Baltimore? Mexico? Greece? Are you even living in America? LOL

  30. They’ll get better. But not enough to save Fox. And does ANYONE really think they’d be ranked better than 30 with Hoyer starting at QB? LOL If the front 7 stay healthy, they will win some games they have no business winning. And fans from those teams will make weak ass excuses. In 2006, they overachieved SO much that Deeny Green had a meltdown. Let’s see McCarhy have a couple of those!

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