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Windy City Gridiron revisits old predictions made for 2018

We take a peak into some of the predictions the WCG crew made, both Bears related and related elsewhere in the NFL.

Minnesota Vikings v Chicago Bears Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

It’s been a fun year guys. Plenty of bold predictions, both directly related to the Bears and otherwise, were made by members of Windy City Gridiron shortly before kickoff of the 2018 regular season. With the regular season drawing to a close, now would be a good time to look back, and perhaps to have a few laughs as well.

You can see predictions related directly to the Chicago Bears here. And, for everywhere else in the NFL including playoff seeding, here.

Let’s get into the highlights:

Starting with the biggest miss from all but one of the writers...a vast majority of us did not originally pick the Bears to win the division. Myself included. In fact, a handful of us: Lester Wiltfong Jr; Robert Zeglinski, Jacob Infante, and Sam Householder predicted the Bears would miss the playoffs entirely.

I has a sad :(

The only one who did predict the Bears on winning the NFC North: Patti Curl! Congrats, Patti!

I’m bringing back a classic for this moment.

Sam had the Bears at the worst overall record in comparison to the rest of the staff. Here’s his season prediction and his explanation for it.

Sam Householder: 8-8

I am too jaded from the past few years to believe in a quick turnaround, especially given the young offense and the divisional opponents. This is going to be a year of putting it all together and learning for the young quarterback and first-time head coach. They will have plenty of defensive talent, but the offense will have ups and down. Plus it’s just easier to have lower expectations and be surprised.

The best record belonged to Ken Mitchell, who predicted the Bears going...wait for it...16-0.

Ken Mitchell: 16-0

I might have gone as low as 15-1 before the Bears traded for Mack ... no, probably not, come to think of it. I’m all-in, clean sweep baby! This is the year that the 1972 Dolphins get to leave the champagne on ice.

If only, Ken. If only....

As far as some of our bold Bears-related predictions, we have three that came true so far.

Lester Wiltfong Jr.: Kyle Fuller and Prince Amukamara will have 10 interceptions between them.

With Mack and the Bears’ defense attacking quarterbacks, we’re going to see a lot of off balance throws, and throws where the receiver isn’t completely ready to make the catch. That’ll lead to Chicago’s cornerbacks reaping the benefits.

In fact, Kyle Fuller (7) and Prince Amukamara (3) have exactly 10 interceptions combined right now.

Sam Householder: The Bears defense will finish 10+ in turnover margin.

They were dead even last year with 22 takeaways and giveaways, but I think the defense is much better equipped to take the ball away and protect it better than last year. Interceptions should improve from eight a year ago, to maybe 12-15, and offensive turnovers should decline slightly, even if interceptions (12 in 2017) remain the same.

Sam gets some redemption here for being right on the turnover margin. As it stands, the Bears have a +13 turnover margin, which is the best in the league.

Josh Sunderbruch: The Bears make the playoffs.

I’ll go one step farther and say that Trubisky posts a passer rating north of 92.5.

The Bears are in the playoffs as division champs. And, Mitchell Trubisky currently has a passer rating of a 94.1. That, if it stands, is a franchise record for a single season among quarterbacks with 12+ starts.

We also have one that’s pretty close, and has the chance of becoming true by season’s end.

Erik Duerrwaechter: Bears lead the league in sacks

They were already in the top ten last year when taking quarterbacks down in the backfield. Adding a monster in Mack to a strong front seven is going to make for countless nightmares to scheme against on game day. Mack, Akiem Hicks, and Leonard Floyd could all touch double digits this year.

Right now, the Bears are ranked at 4th place for total sacks with 45 registered on their defense. The top ranked Minnesota Vikings have 47. There’s still a good chance these Chicago Bears can reach #1 in sacks by season’s end.

As far as non-Bears related predictions, here are a few golden nuggets. Starting with this one.

Jacob Infante: Patrick Mahomes tears the league apart, and makes the Pro Bowl.

Mahomes is in the perfect situation. A young quarterback with all of the physical tools in the world, the second-year gunslinger has fantastic weapons, a solid offensive line, and plays in a scheme that will get the most out of his ability to improvise. This sounds a lot like Mitchell Trubisky’s situation, but the Chiefs have better weapons than the Bears, and they play in an easier division in the AFC West. Mahomes lights up teams across the league en route to a Pro Bowl year.

Patrick Mahomes is having an MVP season. He’s the starting QB for the AFC in this upcoming year’s Pro Bowl.

Erik Duerrwaechter: Green Bay misses the playoffs again, and head coach Mike McCarthy is fired shortly afterwards.

Patti Curl: Does Packers don’t make the playoffs count as non-Bears related?

Both Patti and I knew the Green Bay Packers would miss the playoffs. And, not to my surprise at least, Mike McCarthy has already been fired by Green Bay. Even though I will concede I did not think the Packers would fire McCarthy in-season.

Ken Mitchell: The Cleveland Browns will be in playoff contention until the end of the year.

Eventually the Browns will lose out because of something “so Cleveland” that it defies belief, leading to the sacking of head coach Hue Jackson. Cleveland becomes the team to beat in the AFC in 2019.

Lester Wiltfong Jr: The Cleveland Browns will be the most improved team in the NFL.

Andrew Link: The Browns sneak into the playoffs in a brutally bad AFC conference.

A few key injuries help Cleveland’s case. Like the Bears, the Browns have competed overhauled their roster and it’s starting to pay off.

We might have a few closet Browns fans among us. All kidding aside, the Cleveland Browns have grown into a much better football team. And Ken was dead-on with his forecast of an early departure for Hue Jackson. Which, again, happened mid-season.

What are some of y’all’s favorite predictions? And, well if you feel the need to roast us, then I guess now’s the time to do it. Truly, the NFL will always be the least predictable professional sports league in existence. {Inserts shrugging emoji}