2020 Bears training camp preview: How important is a fast start?


Very important! 

If that feels facile, you're right! It is. But Bears camp is supposed to start in two weeks and they don't know 1.) who their quarterback is and 2.) if they'll even play. Let's keep the simple things simple. 

On paper, in mid-July, the Bears' first quarter of the season looks like a real opportunity – if not an advantage. Opening in Detroit will be tougher than anyone in Chicago wants to admit, but Nagy's had success there already and it's not like the stands will be packed with football-starved fans operating on eight beers and a renewed sense of optimism. Games against the Giants, Falcons, and Colts round out the first month, two of which (NYG, IND) are at Soldier. If the Bears are as talented as they want us to believe, there are obviously 2-3 wins in that stretch. 

The problem, of course, is that seemingly on every level, no one knows what's going on. To say it's a mess is putting it mildly. Take the AFC East, where three team facilities are located in areas with the least amount of coronavirus transmission while the fourth is literally in the pandemic's epicenter: 

If the NFL marches on with the 2020 season – be it blindfolded at full-speed or adjusted and maybe centralized – it'll do the Bears a great deal of good to pile up wins quickly. Their schedule definitely doesn't get any easier as it goes along. But the fact of the matter is that there may not even be games – this year's calendar was designed specifically to allow for a delayed/shortened season – and there almost certainly won't be fans; home field advantage, except maybe for kickers, went out the window. 

If the Bears end up playing the front 9 (or technically 8 I guess?), they've obviously got to win the majority of them. Look no further than last year, when three straight wins revived the Bears season and had them sitting at 7-6. The last hurdle between them and a miraculous postseason berth? Road games in Minnesota and Green Bay with a matchup against Pat Mahomes to boot. Had they won those (very) winnable games earlier in the year against the Raiders, Rams, and Chargers, they probably don't have to stake their playoff hopes against Mahomes and Aaron Rodgers in back-to-back weeks. 

So, as it stands on July 16th, the uncertainty doesn't really lie in whether the Bears should win those early season games, but if they're even going to play them at all. 

- Which version of Nick Foles will Bears get?
- Can Mitch Trubisky save his career?
- Who will win the QB competition?

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