The Bears are coming off of a disappointing 8-8 campaign in 2019, and it appears oddsmakers expect more of the same from them this year.
Chicago currently has the 10th-best odds among NFC teams to make it to the playoffs in 2020, placing them behind divisional rivals Green Bay and Minnesota.
It’s not just that the Bears will most likely be chasing Green Bay and Minnesota to win the North this season. At around +158, Chicago’s playoff odds are presently behind five potential Wild Card teams: Tampa Bay, Philadelphia, Seattle, Minnesota, and the Rams.
While that’s not necessarily an ideal spot to be in, it’s a realistic ranking for the Bears. The Buccaneers bringing in Tom Brady should help propel them into playoff contention, the Seahawks are a strong playoff contender regardless of whether they beat the 49ers out for the top spot in the NFC West, and whoever loses the first-place NFC East battle between the Cowboys and Eagles should surely be in the playoff hunt.
The Vikings are an interesting case—as the team with the eighth-highest playoff odds, they would on the outside looking in if the season plays out the way oddsmakers forecast. They have some top-tier talents on both sides of the ball, but they also lost significant veteran contributors through such moves like the release of Linval Joseph, not bringing back Everson Griffen, losing all three of their top cornerbacks, and trading Stefon Diggs to the Bills.
Minnesota will be also replacing most of the departed contributors with rookies, such as Justin Jefferson, Jeff Gladney and Cameron Dantzler. They should still be a strong contender for a playoff spot, but they may experience a slight regression from their 10-6 performance last year as their rookies adjust to the NFL. If such a situation were to take place, then Chicago could potentially finish with a record that is as good, if not better than Minnesota.
The Bears could also realistically end up finishing above the Rams when all is said and done. Having lost such players like Todd Gurley, Dante Fowler Jr., Cory Littleton, Eric Weddle and Brandin Cooks, Los Angeles is coming off of a disappointing 9-7 season, has a handful of holes on both sides of the ball and will be playing in one of the toughest divisions in football. With talents like Aaron Donald, Jalen Ramsey, Cooper Kupp, Jared Goff and Robert Woods, the Rams should still be competitive, but the Bears arguably have the more complete roster as it currently stands.
Over the past few seasons, the 10th-best team to come out of the NFC has finished with either seven or eight wins. The Bears made some moves to improve this offseason, but they face a tough road ahead of them in the daunting NFC. Time will tell if they will be able to exceed expectations and return to the postseason.