Underdog report: 2024 Chicago Bears

underdog report: 2024 chicago bears

Chicago Bears head coach Matt Eberflus.

The 2023 Chicago Bears finished at the bottom of the NFC North for the second time in three years. Here’s how they get out of the cellar in 2024.

Biggest need: Defense

The Bears’ pass rush needs serious help next year. While Ohio State wide receiver Marvin Harrison Jr. is tempting, Chicago has bigger needs on the other side of the ball.

In 2023, the Bears ranked 28th in takeaways (28), 25th in pass defense (237.8 yards per game) and 31st in sacks (30) after finishing last in sacks (20) in 2022. If not for the team’s top-ranked run defense, Chicago’s defense would have been much worse last year.

Free agent target: EDGE Danielle Hunter, Minnesota Vikings

With free agents like Jacksonville’s Josh Allen and Carolina’s Brain  Burns likely to receive franchise tags, Hunter would be a godsend for new defensive coordinator Eric Washington. The 29-year-old linebacker led the Vikings with 16.5 sacks last season and has 462 tackles, 87.5 sacks and 11 forced fumbles in eight years with Minnesota.

Draft target: EDGE Dallas Turner, Alabama

If the Bears can’t get Hunter from their division rival, Turner would be a good consolation prize. Tom Fornelli of CBS.com calls Turner the best pure pass-rusher in the draft and Pro Football Focus ranks the six-foot-four, 242-pound linebacker as the best edge defender and 14th best prospect in the 2024 NFL draft.

Reason for optimism: Draft picks

With a pair of top-10 picks in the upcoming draft, Chicago can afford to address short and long-term goals. USC quarterback Caleb Williams remains an option with the No. 1 pick, but the Bears will receive quite a haul if they decide to stick with Fields and trade back.

Reason for concern: Matt Eberflus

The Bears head coach has a 10-24 record over the past two seasons. Once thought to be a lame duck, Chicago decided to bring him back in 2024, albeit with new offensive and defensive coordinators.

The Philadelphia Eagles had a pair of new coordinators working under head coach Nick Sirianni in 2023. That didn’t go well at all.

Want more articles like this? Follow Yardbarker on MSN to see more of our exclusive NFL content.

More must-reads:

    Trending slideshow: The most shocking career endings for players and coaches (Provided by Yardbarker)

    News Related

    OTHER NEWS

    Disrupt Burrup protesters searched and phones seized

    Disrupt Burrup Hub group say police have issued move-on notices prohibiting access to the WA site. A group of climate activists and filmmakers say their phones have been seized during ... Read more »

    The generation driving a ‘megatrend’ of poor mental health in Australia

    As individuals, we have unique experiences that affect our mental health and wellbeing, but what about the collective experiences that influence each generation? The mental health of Australians has been ... Read more »

    Geraldton meatworks set to reopen after five years in bid to meet chilled meat demand from Asia, Middle East

    Syed Ghazaly wants to see the Geraldton abattoir reopen early next year to process 1,000 sheep a day. (ABC Mid West Wheatbelt: Chris Lewis) The new owners of a mothballed ... Read more »

    Blues seek ‘growth’ as pre-season begins; new Hawk aims to be AFL’s serial pest

    Carlton coach Michael Voss says he and his players understand there are heightened expectations on them, but insists the Blues are ready to develop individually and in their game plan. ... Read more »

    Bulldogs continue signing frenzy with swap deal

    The Bulldogs’ off-season signing frenzy is set to continue with the club reportedly set to land Cronnor Tracey in a swap deal. The Sydney Morning Herald reports Tracey is expected ... Read more »

    Customers to weigh in as Optus disruption comes under microscope

    Consumers and impacted businesses are being urged to have their say on the Optus outage, with the federal government laying out the terms of reference for its review into the ... Read more »

    Released detainee unable to be contacted by authorities

    It has been revealed a released immigration detainee is unable to be contacted by authorities. Border Force has referred the matter to the Federal Police as authorities are attempting to ... Read more »
    Top List in the World