by MADDIE TOPLIFF
Preseason football concluded last week and you know what that means: We’re out here in the real world now. Chicago kicks off the season tomorrow against Green Bay. I’m doing fine, totally fine, the queen of staying calm. We’ll wrap up the preseason, talk through tomorrow’s game, discuss roster news, and give my regular season predictions. Grab a snack and adjust your reading glasses; it’s time to dive in.
Titans on top
The Bears practiced southern hospitality last Thursday welcoming the Titans to Chicago and letting them win. Chicago put up 12-points early thanks to a backup QB touchdown and a pair of Pineiro field goals. Pineiro was 3-for-3 in field goals calming Bears fan’s nerves when he missed an early PAT. But Tennessee manifested two touchdowns of their own resulting in a 19-15 loss turning the Bears preseason record to 1-3. No matter — we’ve got real business to get to.
Biggest kickoff in history
The hype for this game has been unreal. It’s the Bears’ 100th NFL season and first Thursday night opener. Intense teaser commercials have referred to the game as ‘the biggest kickoff in history’ and ‘an event 100 years in the making’. My whole life has been leading up to this moment. No pressure.
If last season is any indication of how this season should go then the Bears should win tomorrow. Friends, we all know that “should” is the key word here. The Bears should have also beaten the Packers this time last year, but sometimes we forget how to play football once the fourth quarter starts.
The Bears waived 33 players before releasing their roster on August 31. QB Tyler Fray’s contract was terminated but he will remain on the practice squad. The Bears cut down to four RBs, six WRs, four TEs, and eight OL. 48 of the 53 names have been acquired since 2015, the year Ryan Pace became the Bears GM; that’s over 90% of the roster. Maybe I should put more trust in the front office. Maybe.
Additionally, OL Cody Whitehair’s contract was extended through 2024. Whitehair has started in every single game as center since he was drafted in 2016 and will likely play left guard this season. Whitehair is a team player, glad to have you a while longer. Please protect Mitch.
Fortune in our future?
Last season’s success was long overdue. With a 12-4 record and as NFC North champions we charged into our first postseason in EIGHT YEARS. But our schedule is arguably more difficult this year, with the Rams, Saints, and Chiefs lined up ready to crush my dreams. The good news? Chicago will have home field advantage at two of three of those games. But it won’t be enough – we have to make sure we are stifling the passing game or the box scores are going to be big sad.
I’m optimistic predicting an 11-5 regular season record. Losses will be to the Saints, Rams, Giants, Chiefs, and either the Packers or Vikings. The Bears start their season tomorrow vs Green Bay @7:20PM on NBC. Best wishes and Beardown!