What will the final Chicago Bears 2017 record be? At the end of the day this is the piece of information fans want most. Of course they won’t know it for sure until the clock strikes a new year on January 1st of 2018. That will be a day after the Bears play their 16th and final game of the regular season according to the latest release of the new NFL schedule.
On paper it certainly looks daunting. Three of their first four games will be against playoff teams including the NFC champion Atlanta Falcons and on the road against the Packers. For a young team that just went 3-13, it’s hard not to feel like schedule makers had their middle fingers extended towards Chicago when they completed this.
Then again, at the end of the day it doesn’t matter. Sooner or later the Bears will have to beat other good teams if they want to win a championship. So what do people expect from Chicago now that their schedule is known?
Not much. In fact the national experts seem almost uniform in their solidarity for exactly how poor the Bears will be.
“The good news: The Bears host fellow bottom-feeders Cleveland and San Francisco. The bad news: Chicago’s current roster doesn’t look whole lot better than last year’s when the Bears finished 3-13. And their 2017 schedule is not easy. The Bears open against the defending NFC champion Atlanta Falcons, followed by tough games against Tampa, Pittsburgh and Green Bay.”
“The 2017 NFL schedule doesn’t do the Chicago Bears many favors.
Overall, though, being fortunate enough to clash with the AFC North gets evened out by needing to deal with the NFC South, a division littered with high-flying offenses sure to test the Bears defensively. Six NFC North games muddy the outlook as well, depending on how the teams reload.”
“Now that the official schedule has been set for the Chicago Bears, it is time to look ahead to the 2017 season. The Bears will travel a little over 8,300 miles during the 2017 regular season. Their longest trip will be 2,014 miles round-trip to Tampa Bay and their shortest non-divisional trip will be a 504 mile round-trip to Cincinnati.”
“The Bears were hoping for a quick turnaround in the second year under coach John Fox and that didn’t happen. The opening month of Year 3 looks like it will be difficult and the Bears could be underdogs in all four games. There might not be anything quick about this turnaround project.”
In other words the Bears will revert back to the level they were at when GM Ryan Pace and head coach John Fox first took over in 2015. Not exactly the circular path this team was hoping to take. Team chairman George McCaskey said he’d be patient with this rebuilding project but it’s hard to see him staying that way after a third-straight losing season. Will Pace and Fox be able to keep their jobs one more year?
Color us skeptical. As for those asking what Sports Mockery predicts for 2017, worry not. That will be coming by the end of the month shortly after the NFL draft. That will be when the full roster has taken shape and it will be much easier to make such predictions. Until then people will have to settle for these understandable if pessimistic expectations.