Looking ahead: Bears ’19 schedule marked by upheaval – and added difficulty

John Mullin

While the Bears have been struggling to right their offensive ship and not looking any further ahead in 2019 than their own next game, their 2019 schedule has been flung into some turmoil through just two games, both good and bad. The 2019 schedule was going to be difficult anyway; certain performances project to make it even a little rougher.

The biggest shock to the lineup awaiting them was the very publicized thumb injury suffered by Drew Brees. The injury was expected to require surgery and to sideline the New Orleans quarterback beyond the Oct. 20 date when the Saints come to Soldier Field the weekend after the off week.

As for the immediate present, the Washington Redskins are expected to be without left tackle Trent Williams next Monday despite rumors that the seven-time Pro Bowl'er.

After Washington, the Bears have Minnesota coming to Soldier Field, led by quarterback Kirk Cousins, one of only four starting quarterbacks with a lower QBR number (15.8) than Bears quarterback Mitch Trubisky (27.5).

The Bears don't see the New York Giants until the weekend before Thanksgiving but when they do, the Giants presumably will have rookie Daniel Jones, the No. 6-overall pick of the 2019 draft, at quarterback instead of Eli Manning. Coach Pat Shurmur benched Manning in favor of Jones after this season's 0-2 start left the Giants at exactly 116-116 over Manning's 15 years as their starter.

The good news: The Bears don't see the Dallas Cowboys and Kansas City Chiefs until going on three months from now. The bad news: They draw the Chiefs and Cowboys at all this year.

Patrick Mahomes, a Kansas City draft choice while Matt Nagy was Andy Reid's offensive coordinator, is continuing to play at his '18 MVP pace and getting the Kansas City Chiefs to 2-0. The Bears get the Chiefs at home, but KC has opened this season with road wins by 14 points at Jacksonville and 18 points at Oakland.

But as good as Mahomes has been, Dallas' Dak Prescott has been arguably as good or better: through two games, 51-of-62 passing (82.3 percent), 10.9 yards per attempt, 337 yards per game, 142.2 passer rating, 96.2 QBR – all even higher than Mahomes' performance indicators.

The Detroit Lions are off to a 1-0-1 start with quarterback Matthew Stafford playing above his career levels for completion percentage (65.3), passer rating (102.6), QBR, yards per game (315), yards per attempt (8.5).

Fun factoid noted by longtime legendary NFL reporter Peter King in his "Football Morning in America" this week: The Oakland Raiders have five games over the next 48 days, including vs. the Bears in London. Every one of the games is more than 1,900 miles from Oakland.

 

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Looking ahead: Bears 19 schedule marked by upheaval and added difficulty originally appeared on NBC Sports Chicago