Now that the Rams' 2020 schedule is officially out, it's time to resume our offseason opponent breakdowns on theRams.com. Up next is Los Angeles' Week 7 Monday Night Football home opponent, the Chicago Bears.
The Bears started the month of September 3-1, falling to the Green Bay Packers in their opener then mounting a three-game win streak. A loss to the Raiders left them with a 3-2 record entering their Week 6 bye.
Although they lost their first three games after the bye week, a 4-1 record across Weeks 10-14 kept them in the hunt for the sixth and final NFC Wild Card spot. Chicago was officially eliminated from the playoffs in Week 15, however, following its loss to Green Bay and the Minnesota Vikings' win over the Los Angeles Chargers.
All told, the Bears' 8-8 record was good for a third-place finish in the NFC North in 2019.
Many of them pertained to Chicago's defense.
The Bears released outside linebacker Leonard Floyd, who later signed a one-year deal with the Rams. They also signed edge rusher Robert Quinn, who led the Cowboys in sacks last season, to a five-year deal.
On offense, Chicago signed five-time Pro Bowl tight end and former first-team All-Pro choice Jimmy Graham to a two-year deal. It also acquired former Super Bowl MVP Nick Foles from the Jacksonville Jaguars in exchange for its compensatory fourth-round selection in this year's NFL Draft. Foles is expected to compete with former No. 2 overall pick Mitch Trubisky for the Bears' starting quarterback job.
Matt Nagy enters his third season as head coach of the Bears. Including Chicago's 2018 playoff appearance, Nagy has a 20-13 overall record through his first two years with the franchise. The Bears went 12-4 and won their first division title since 2010 in Nagy's first season.
What to watch for
Rams defense vs. whoever starts at quarterback for the Bears
Will Los Angeles' defense be preparing to face Trubisky or Foles in Week 7?
Trubisky has been the full-time starter for Chicago each of the last two seasons, but the fifth-year option in his contract was reportedly declined by the club. While not being under contract beyond 2020 doesn't mean his future with the Bears has already been determined – NFL.com's Nick Shook noted they handled cornerback Kyle Fuller's situation similarly in 2017 – it does put added pressure on Trubisky to perform.
Should Trubisky struggle early in the season, the Bears could easily turn to Foles, especially with his familiarity with Nagy's playbook and the rate at which he's re-learning it. Trubisky completed 24 of 43 pass attempts for 190 yards, one touchdown and one interception in the Bears' 17-7 loss to the Rams in Los Angeles last November, though he also was playing through a hip pointer.