Last month we shared with you guys Mike Sando’s annual Quarterback Tier list from The Athletic where he polls 50 NFL coaches and evaluators to get their take on 35 veteran quarterbacks. The Chicago Bears dynamic duo of Nick Foles and Mitchell Trubisky didn’t fare so well, but that was expected as it was based on their 2019 play.
The Athletic’s QB Tier list did give them baseline to go back and compile a strength of schedule rating system based on the quarterbacks each team was slated to face in the 2020 season. Since so much of a team’s success is predicated on the quarterback playing well, I found this to be a fascinating way to look at the strength of schedule (S.O.S.).
Traditional S.O.S takes last year’s records into account, and considering there is so much movement from players and coaches, plus the injury factor isn’t something that is predictable on a year to year basis, those old school S.O.S.’s are nothing more than a conversation starter.
Injuries could obviously alter this S.O.S., but for now this is how they have it.
The Bears came in with the third toughest schedule based on based on the QB tiers they’ll be facing in 2020, and here’s what The Athletic had to say.
3. Chicago Bears
Opposing QB average: 2.28
Nick Foles/Mitch Trubisky average: 3.69
Opponents by Tier: T1: 4 | T2: 5 | T3: 6 | T4: 1
The Bears play four games against current Tier 1 quarterbacks, two more games against 2019 top-tier choices Brady and Philip Rivers, plus one game against 2016 MVP Matt Ryan. They also play just one game against quarterbacks in the fourth tier (Gardner Minshew). Watson has presumably circled his Dec. 13 visit to Soldier Field for a shot at the team that preferred Mitch Trubisky in the 2017 draft.
The top tiered QBs the Bears are set to face are Aaron Rodgers twice, Drew Brees, and Watson.
Brady, Ryan, Rivers, and Matthew Stafford (twice) are the second tier QBs they are set to face, with Kirk Cousins, Jared Goff, Ryan Tannehill, Teddy Bridgewater, and Daniel Jones being the third tier guys they will match-up with in 2020.
Chicago’s defense will have their hands full corralling these signal callers, but with Khalil Mack, Robert Quinn, Akiem Hicks, and Eddie Jackson (to name a few), they are built to do just that.