After an offseason of change at Halas Hall, most of us are expecting good things from the Chicago Bears in 2018. The size of the expectations varies from fan to fan and from expert to expert, but I can’t imagine anyone (outside of a few trolls) that actually expects this team to regress.
With that improvement, we could see some franchise milestones reached, and perhaps some records fall.
The two blueprints that Bears’ fans look to when ‘wishful-thinking’ about Chicago’s future are the Philadelphia Eagles and the Los Angeles Rams. Each team drafted a quarterback in the first round two years ago, and each QB saw marked improvements last season. The Eagles had a new head coach paired up with their new QB in 2015, but the Rams added a rookie head coach to work with their QB last season.
If the Bears want to improve from last year’s five wins, they’ll need quarterback Mitchell Trubisky to makes strides this season. Philadelphia’s Carson Wentz improved his passer rating by 22.6 points from his rookie year to 2017, and Los Angeles’ Jared Goff saw a 36.9 point jump in his.
With Matt Nagy’s offense and a few new pass catchers added, it’s conceivable that Trubisky could have a similar jump in his passer rating.
Did you realize that if Trubisky’s passer rating improves by 31.6 points, he’ll have the new single season record in Bears’ franchise history?
The current record holder is Josh McCown, who put up a 109.0 passer rating in 2013. McCown just hit the 224 passing attempts to qualify among the league leaders that season.
Trubisky is also 4,062 yards away from cracking the top ten in franchise passing yards. That would be a Hell of a year for Mitch, so the top ten may need to wait until 2019.
The franchise’s record for most passing yards in a season is 3,828, set by Erik Kramer in 1995. That’s a big number for a second year quarterback, but both Goff and Wentz flirted with that last year in their second season.
Chicago’s top ten rushing list is definitely in the sights of Jordan Howard. The third year running back is only 512 yards away from passing Matt Suhey for tenth all time. He’s seven rushing touchdowns away from being top ten in that category as well.
The rookie records for receptions and receiving yards will be tough for Anthony Miller to hit, but if he’s somehow pressed into more action the reception record is 63, set by Matt Forte in 2008, and the rookie yardage record is 1,124, set by Harlon Hill in 1954.
There hasn’t been one head coach in the Super Bowl era for the Bears that started his tenure with a winning record. Matt Nagy will try and do better than the 8-8 season that Marc Trestman put up in 2013. The last Chicago head coach that won his first year was Paddy Driscoll in 1956 (9-2).