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The excitement brought to the 2021 NFL Draft to Chicago through Justin Fields could come to a natural end in the first round. The Bears have been given the most challenging 17-game slate in the league this year, according to USA Today Sports on Monday, Aug. 9, 2021.
What To Expect
This occurrence is not merely specific to the Bears; it is part of the cycle of the NFL calendar. Optimism and hope typically flood the offseason negotiations by either free agency or the draft. These occur until the regular season comes around with games along with wins and losses.
The enjoyment of a winning season does not always deal with that team’s athletic prowess. Instead, it falls more on the chance side of things. For instance, it could be an extraordinarily healthy year, or perhaps close games — decided by a field goal or less — come up during the season, no major-named players get injured, or it may be a soft schedule.
In the case of the Bears this year, their schedule is far from soft. As mentioned earlier, the team was dubbed the club with the toughest game slate in the league this year. Each team’s schedule difficulty was determined on the Football Power Index’s (FPI) forecasted win totals for 2021.
The National Football Conference (NFC) includes nine road games in the season. Therefore a team in the conference was expected to have the spot at the top. Instead, Chicago discovers itself with a total of eight games against the FPI’s top 10: “at Rams, at Browns, at Bucs, vs. 49ers, vs. Ravens, at Seahawks, and then a home-and-home with the Packers.”
This could be a challenging road for the Bears team that does not have a settled quarterback, even though an awaited starter is deemed a “marked improvement” above the faltering duo of Mitch Trubisky and Nick Foles in the year 2020.
What Should The Bears Do?
Questions asked are “should the Bears stick with Andy Dalton for a majority of the season” or ” would it be silly to start Fields against a murderer’s row like Chicago is going to face this year?” The answer to the varying inquiries is not, mainly, a clear one but is reliant on circumstance.
For example, Dalton can stay there if the team is in competition for a division title or a wild card with Andy Dalton backing center. But, on the other hand, if they are winning despite the presence of Dalton and the offensive line can keep whoever is backing center upstanding, the rookies could be given “the keys to the present and future.”
Justin Fields, a rookie from the NFL draft pick in the position of a quarterback and part of the initial excitement for the Bears Season, would not start for the team at some point in 2021 — if the team’s offensive line is a safety and health risk or Dalton is the primary cause of the team winning. These scenarios are legitimate probabilities.
The tough schedule for the Bears this season does not matter how tenacious a team may look on paper in August if there is no injury factor set in for the Bears team, the fans of the Bears have no reason to panic with No. 1, Justin Fields, present, according to Bears Wire USA Today Sports.
Written by Ke’Lena Thomas
Edited by Cathy Milne-Ware
Bears Wire USA Today Sports: Bears’ 2021 schedule ranked most difficult in the league; by Bryan Perez
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Inset Image Courtesy of Mike Hoff’s Flickr Page – Creative Commons License