For the last several years, SB Nation has partnered up with Football Outsiders to bring us some of their unique, analytical insight into each upcoming NFL season.
This year is no different as we had FO’s Bryan Knowles, who has been covering the NFL since 2006, answer five questions about the Chicago Bears.
The Bears have had two players opt out of the 2020 season due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but only of them was set for a starting role, so...
Windy City Gridiron - How big an impact will nose tackle Eddie Goldman opting out be for the Bears defense?
Football Outsiders - It’s worth noting that Goldman only played 44% of the Bears’ defensive snaps last season, so it’s not like the Bears will need an every-down replacement, but Goldman had a 78% run stop success rate a year ago, just missing the top 20 among all interior defensive linemen — losing him will be a blow to the run defense, without a doubt.
The big worry I’d have is the lack of an experienced replacement on the roster; Bilal Nichols is a solid player, but he’s unlikely to be able to control multiple gaps on Goldman’s level. I’ll be interested to see if Chuck Pagano uses more one-gap schemes to make up for Goldman’s departure; that would be very un-Pagano-like, but the Bears have enough talent up front to run an even front.
What do you guys think the Bears will do to lessen the loss of Goldman?
The most authoritative and innovative annual guide to both the NFL and college football is back for an all-new season with more cutting-edge statistical analysis, obsessive film study, and trademark humor. Includes comprehensive coverage of all 32 NFL teams, analysis of offseason personnel changes, KUBIAK fantasy football projections with over 500 player profiles, and breakdowns of the top 50 college football teams for 2020. With numerous statistical measures that go far beyond standard NFL stats, Football Outsiders Almanac 2020 gives NFL fans the kind of sabermetric-like statistical analysis that revolutionized the fan’s understanding of baseball. It’s also written with a knowing dry wit that gets under the skin of America’s most popular spectator sport.