Will 2020 be Anthony Miller's breakout year?

Bryan Perez
·2 min read

There's no debate about who the Bears' most important non-quarterback is on offense. It's Allen Robinson, which is why the team's failure to give him a contract extension this offseason has fans so annoyed. But Robinson, alone, isn't enough to transform Chicago's passing game from one of the most incapable in the league to a formidable unit. He needs help, and the most obvious name among the Bears' group of receivers in 2020 to fill that role is former second-round pick, Anthony Miller.

But we've been here before. Miller's breakout season was supposed to come in 2019. Instead, he started six games (appeared in all 16) and caught just 52 passes for 656 yards and two touchdowns. Hardly the results the Bears were hoping for from a player they traded up to select in 2018.

There's no denying Miller's immense upside, however. Sure, he has to earn Matt Nagy's trust by doing the little things the right way in practice, but few players on Chicago's roster offer as much playmaking ability as the former Memphis star. And that's why he's been dubbed the most likely first-time Pro Bowler on the Bears' roster by NFL.com.

Allen Robinson roams as Chicago's top wideout, but Miller offers breakout potential after surging down the stretch in 2019. He piled up 445 of his 656 yards after Week 9, highlighted by a 9/118/1 line against the Packers and 140 yards off nine grabs in a Thanksgiving win over the Lions. Taylor Gabriel's exit means more snaps while the addition of Nick Foles -- if he stays upright -- could flip the switch for one of the game's more impossible-to-watch passing attacks of 2019.

It's true Miller flashed the ability that had Bears fans so excited before last season began, but it wasn't exactly all rainbows and butterflies. He had just two catches for seven yards over the final two games of the year, albeit a shortened season finale due to a shoulder injury he suffered against the Vikings.

If Miller doesn't step up to be a reliable WR2, then who will it be? Riley Ridley? Javon Wims? Ted Ginn? Rookie Darnell Mooney? While all four options certainly have their pluses, it's Miller who's the most well-rounded and exciting of the bunch.

2020 will be Miller's time. At least, it better be.

Will 2020 be Anthony Miller's breakout year? originally appeared on NBC Sports Chicago