Fans like watching the tape as much as anybody, but history has always proven that their best method of determining team success from year to year is stats. Numbers can lie sometimes, but not too often. That’s why Chicago Bears stat projections for the 2019 season can be seen as an important barometer for how one thinks the team will do.

The 2018 season can be called a success for obvious reasons. Chicago went 12-4 and made the playoffs. Along the way, some significant milestones were achieved. A pass rusher surpassed 12 sacks in a season for the first time since 1993. A cornerback went over five interceptions for the first time since 2012. Then there was a quarterback who had the highest passer rating in franchise history for at least 14 games.

A lot of accomplishments to go around. However, expectations are higher for this year. The team is returning most of its starters. Knowledge of the systems keeps growing and the roster appears even deeper than it was at this point last year. So how do they fare?

Chicago Bears stat projections (Offense):

  • Mitch Trubisky – 4,450 yards, 34 TDs, 14 INTs
  • David Montgomery – 930 yards, 8 TDs, 20 catches, 260 yards, 1 TD
  • Mike Davis – 550 yards, 4 TDs, 7 catches, 80 yards
  • Tarik Cohen – 487 yards, 4 TDs, 65 catches, 690 yards, 6 TDs
  • Allen Robinson – 78 catches, 1,006 yards, 8 TDs
  • Anthony Miller – 60 catches, 850 yards, 9 TDs
  • Taylor Gabriel – 54 catches, 644 yards, 4 TDs
  • Cordarrelle Patterson – 22 catches, 285 yards, 1 TD
  • Riley Ridley – 18 catches, 190 yards, 1 TD
  • Trey Burton – 45 catches, 575 yards, 3 TDs
  • Adam Shaheen – 21 catches, 335 yards, 1 TD

The Bears and their fans are hoping for a big step up in production from Trubisky this year after showing a lot of promise in 2018. They end up getting it as he becomes the first QB in team history to throw for over 4,000 yards and 30 touchdowns. A big reason for this success can be attributed to his deeper and more versatile arsenal of weapons.

Montgomery plays a big role in helping expand the options while both Robinson and Miller step up their production as well. Perhaps the only disappointing part of the offense is the tight ends. Burton comes up with fewer yards and TDs than the previous year while Shaheen does post a career-high in yards but fails again to live up to his lofty draft status.

Defense:

  • Khalil Mack – 17 sacks, 46 tackles, 5 forced fumbles
  • Leonard Floyd – 10 sacks, 37 tackles, 2 forced fumbles, 1 INT
  • Akiem Hicks – 7 sacks, 60 tackles, 1 forced fumble
  • Eddie Goldman – 4 sacks, 39 tackles
  • Bilal Nichols – 6 sacks, 34 tackles
  • Roy Robertson-Harris – 4 sacks, 20 tackles
  • Aaron Lynch – 2.5 sacks, 25 tackles
  • Roquan Smith – 141 tackles, 4 sacks, 3 forced fumbles, 2 INTs
  • Danny Trevathan – 95 tackles, 3 sacks, 2 forced fumbles
  • Kyle Fuller – 5 INTs, 18 passes defended, 57 tackles
  • Prince Amukamara – 1 INT, 13 passes defended, 59 tackles
  • Buster Skrine – 2 INTs, 9 passes defended, 1 sack, 50 tackles
  • Eddie Jackson – 8 INTs, 16 passes defended, 3 forced fumbles, 45 tackles
  • Ha Ha Clinton-Dix – 5 INTs, 12 passes defended, 2 sacks, 69 tackles

The arrival of Chuck Pagano has defensive coordinator should keep the defense in good hands. However, there is likely to be some changes as to how they operate. One area he’s been known for elevating in years past? The pass rushers. Both Mack and Floyd achieve career highs in sacks this season, as does Nichols, Goldman, and Robertson-Harris.

Smith achieves a major milestone with 141 tackles, the most a Bears linebacker has had since 2006 (Brian Urlacher). Fuller has another strong year while Amukamara takes a step back. The big story though is the safeties where Jackson and Clinton-Dix combine for 13 interceptions. Something that hasn’t happened in Chicago for decades.

Special Teams:

  • Elliot Fry – 23-of-27 on field goals (85.18%), 45-of-47 on XP attempts
  • Pat O’Donnell – 59 punts for 2702 yards (45.8 per punt)
  • Cordarrelle Patterson – 21 kick returns for 598 yards, 1 TD
  • Tarik Cohen – 34 punt returns for 441 yards, 1 TD

Some people may believe Eddy Pineiro will win the kicking job because the Bears traded for him. That doesn’t prove anything. Remember Pineiro has to be on the roster for five games for the trade to become final. The Bears could easily cut him without it costing them a thing. Besides that, Fry seems to have proven the most consistent in the competition to this point.

All things considered, he has himself a solid year with six missed kicks in total, down significantly from the 11 Cody Parkey had in 2018. O’Donnell continues his steady if unremarkable punting. The big leap is in the return game though as Patterson delivers a healthy yards average and a touchdown. A far cry from the past few years for the Bears.