Chicago’s defense was awesome in 2018, leading the NFL in points allowed, turnovers forced, touchdowns scored, and passer rating against. They also finished third in yards and sacks and were generally the best defense in the NFL by a wide margin. Their play propelled the Bears to a 12-4 finish, NFC North title, and the franchise’s first playoff berth in eight years.
It’s hard to expect much improvement from that unit in 2019. In fact, they’re almost certainly not going to repeat that level of dominance. So when I write that I expect the Bears to improve in 2019 and be one of the top Super Bowl contenders, that must mean I expect it to happen because of the offense.
Unlike the defense, there is plenty of room for improvement on that side of the ball. Chicago had a pretty mediocre offense in 2018. They finished:
- 21st in yards per game
- 20th in yards per play
- 9th in points per game
- 20th in Football Outsiders’ DVOA rankings, an all-encompassing metric intended to evaluate an entire unit.
Outside of points per game – which was likely aided by all the turnovers and defensive touchdowns – the offense was pretty consistently below average in most important metrics. So why am I so confident the offense will improve next year, even though they probably won’t be making many significant personnel changes?
To put it simply: NFL history strongly suggests that significant improvement is coming.