ESPN takes the under on Bears’ 2021 projected win total

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Bryan Perez
·2 min read
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Not much is expected from the Chicago Bears in 2021. With Andy Dalton as QB1, the oddsmakers have set the team’s projected win total at 7.5.

Remember: 2021 is a 17-game season, and math tells me that Vegas expects Chicago to be a 10-loss team, or at least, pretty darn close to it.

Not great, especially in a season with a general manager and head coach on the hot seat.

But is that number too low? Let’s face it, the Bears have been a .500 team or better the last three seasons and have qualified for the playoffs in two of them.

According to ESPN, the projected win total is actually too high. Chicago will finish with seven wins or less, according to Jeff Dickerson.

Over/under: 7.5

Prediction: Under

It’s hard to envision eight wins or more because of the uncertainty on offense. Andy Dalton had a good run in Cincinnati, but his best days could be in the rearview mirror. Defensively, Chicago still boasts Khalil Mack, Akiem Hicks and Roquan Smith, but losing cornerback Kyle Fuller (cap casualty) opens a sizable hole in the secondary. The Bears are unlikely to bottom out, but it will be challenging to reach last year’s win total, even with an extra regular-season game.

It feels an awful lot like the Bears are in football purgatory right now. They’re a .500 team entering a season (17 games) that, barring a tie, won’t allow for an even win-loss record anymore.

9-8? 8-9? 7-10? Gross.

Dickerson is probably right with his decision to pick the under. Are you going to bet on Dalton turning the team around? Sure, he’s an upgrade. But that’s not saying much.

Last year’s starter, Mitch Trubisky, is buried behind Josh Allen on the Buffalo Bills’ depth chart. Nick Foles was so bad in 2020 that he isn’t even in the mix for the starting job in 2021.

So, yeah, 7.5 wins is a fair number, and picking the under is fair too. The Bears are in prove-it mode, and until they establish themselves as a winning team worthy of playoff chatter, it’ll be another preseason of mediocre to below-average expectations from Matt Nagy and company.