Bears 2021 win total preview: New quarterbacks, same result
The Bears are looking for a get-right year in 2021. Does their franchise-altering move in the recent draft pay off and spring them into the playoffs, or will Chicago trudge to its third straight .500-or-worse campaign?
Let's dive into the club's 2021 win total and make our pick.
Bears 2021 win total
Over: 7.5 (-110)
Under: 7.5 (-110)
A look back
The Bears were every bit of 8-8 a season ago.
The defense registered another solid year - No. 8 in the league in DVOA - but the offense was bottom 10 in points per game, yards per play, and DVOA, among other departments.
The unit scored 27 points or more on five occasions, but they came against the Jaguars, Texans, Falcons, Lions, and Vikings, who all missed the postseason. Chicago somehow secured a playoff bid but went out in typical Bears fashion, totaling 239 total yards in an opening-round, double-digit loss to the Saints.
Bears' 2021 scoring splits
|Vs. Postseason teams||Vs. Non-postseason teams|
|Points Per Game||17.4||27.7|
Head coach Matt Nagy was an intriguing hire as a branch off of the Andy Reid tree, but the Bears have yet to reap the results: Chicago's been bottom 10 in explosive play rate in all three years under Nagy, finishing No. 31 in 2019 and dead last a year ago.
The best way to combat a stagnant offense? Draft one of the best quarterback prospects on the board in a last-ditch effort to stay afloat.
Trubisky never panned out, so the front office went out this offseason and signed veteran Andy Dalton in free agency as a bridge.
Chicago traded up nine spots to land the dual-threat talent, then plucked offensive lineman Teven Jenkins in the second round for future protection. The Bears may need to rely on some newcomers in 2021 following a slow free agency that included cutting Pro Bowl cornerback Kyle Fuller in order to save cap space.
However, with Dalton getting the nod over Fields - at least to start - there's limited upside for a unit that desperately needs it.
Best bet - Under 7.5 (-110)
A baseline prediction for the Bears is a 3-3 split in divisional play, as well as a 2-2 draw against the AFC North - and that still might be too optimistic.
After that, I don't trust Chicago to nab at least three wins against the Buccaneers, Rams, Seahawks, Cardinals, 49ers, Giants, and Raiders. Four of those teams are pegged for double-digit wins in 2021, while the Bears draw six top-10 DVOA defenses overall from a year ago.
The transition from Trubisky to Fields should inspire confidence for a fan base that needed to turn the chapter. But it'll be tough for this team to win eight games, no matter who's under center.
Dalton hasn't won more than seven games as a starter since the 2015 season. Fields, on the other hand, offers more upside, but think about how well Justin Herbert played for the Chargers last season after taking over for veteran Tyrod Taylor.
Herbert won Rookie of the Year and set four NFL records, yet L.A. went 7-9.
Eight wins aren't in the cards for the Bears this fall.
Alex Kolodziej is a betting writer for theScore. Find him on Twitter @AjKolodziej.