The last time we saw the Bears play meaningful football, they scored one touchdown in a Wild Card Playoff Game. One touchdown, in a game, that the Saints were practically begging to give away. In terms of leaving a bad taste in your mouth for almost eight months, the Bears might as well have managed the football equivalent of drinking orange juice immediately after brushing your teeth. Not a pleasant feeling if you’re unfamiliar. Imagine that over most of a calendar year.
Fast forward to the following September, and there is an admitted air of frustration surrounding Chicago. The most exciting signal-caller the Bears may have ever drafted, Justin Fields, will not start in Week 1. In fact, no one knows exactly when he will play. Instead, it’s Andy Dalton, operating on the mythos of a steady veteran hand that will somehow keep the Bears’ already floundering ship from sinking to the bottom of the ocean.
It’s not an inspiring situation, and it’s not made any easier with a primetime season-opening tilt against a team many consider a verifiable Super Bowl contender in the Rams. Los Angeles largely brings back the same team from a year ago that had the league’s best defense led by Aaron Donald. And they now have a quarterback capable of making plays without Boy Genius Sean McVay radioing in the ideal with Matthew Stafford.
Expectations are high in L.A., and anything less than an opening, outclassing beatdown of the Bears doesn’t feel very likely. Stranger things have happened, but we’ll have to wait to see what transpires under the lights. Maybe the Red Rifle has an upset in him. Maybe.
Windy City Gridiron’s staff picks for Bears-Rams in Week 1, along with every NFL contest.