The 2020 LA Chargers could look a lot like the Chicago Bears team from a season ago.
Both the LA Chargers and Chicago Bears headed into the 2019 season with high expectations. Both teams were coming off of promising 2018 seasons and were among the favorites to make some noise in the postseason.
Both teams ended up disappointing, one more than the other. The Bears became the most mediocre team in football and finished 8-8 while the Chargers could not get out of their own way, continually losing winnable games and finishing 5-11.
Fans are hoping, and almost expecting, that the Chargers will turn it around in 2020 and it certainly is a wild-card year. The team is undergoing a change at quarterback for the first time in a decade and a half, with Tyrod Taylor likely being the one-year transition starter for Justin Herbert.
With Taylor under center and all of the talent around him, the Chargers eerily could look like the Chicago Bears team from a year ago. We already broke down how the Bolts’ ceiling could be that of the 2015 Carolina Panthers, now let’s look at how it might be more likely that the 2020 LA Chargers look like the 2019 Chicago Bears.
How the 2020 LA Chargers can be the 2019 Chicago Bears:
Before we compare the two teams, we have to establish that expectations for both teams are vastly different. Unlike the Panthers comparison, where both teams had similar expectations, the Chargers do not have the same expectations as the 2019 Bears.
The 2019 Bears had 12/1 Super Bowl odds and their over/under for wins was nine. According to The Action Network, the Chargers have 45/1 Super Bowl odds and their over/under for wins is eight. Differing expectations.
What was the 8-8 Bears’ biggest flaw in 2020? Scoring points. The team ranked 29th in the NFL with 17.5 points scored per game but ranked fourth in the league in points allowed, allowing 18.6 points per game.
That is a situation that absolutely could happen to the Bolts in 2020. The Chargers already had a really solid defense that got even better heading into next season. They are in line to be a top-five defense, like the Bears, and there should be a reasonable concern for the team scoring points.
I know, I know… Tyrod Taylor does not turn over the ball as much as Philip Rivers and there as so many offensive weapons. However, two things are still true: we are not sure how good the offensive line is going to be and it could be awful again and the team struggled to score last year despite the weapons.
The Chargers scored 21.1 points last season. The hope is that the offense will score more with a new scheme but is it possible that the team scores four fewer points a game if Tyrod does not play as good as fans are hoping? Absolutely.
That brings us to Tyrod Taylor vs. Mitchell Trubisky. Most Charger fans would instantly jump out and say that Tyrod is a much better quarterback, but that might not be the case. Like Taylor, Trubisky does not turn the ball over often but lacks great decision making and throw accuracy; two things Taylor has struggled with at times.
Trubisky completed 63.2 percent of his passes in 2019 for 3,138 yards, 17 touchdowns and 10 interceptions (1.9 interception percentage). In Taylor’s last full season as a starter (which keep in mind was three years ago) he completed 62.6 percent of his passes for 2,799 yards, 14 touchdowns and four interceptions (1.0 interception percentage).
Taylor does have the advantage in interception percentage but it is not like Trubisky is throwing many picks. Tyrod averages seven yards per pass attempt in his career, Trubisky 6.7.
Trubisky used his legs less last season but we have seen him be dangerous running the ball, just like Taylor. The problem with Trubisky using his legs last season was that he was behind a shoddy offensive line. And just like Trubisky, Taylor won’t be able to be as dangerous behind a bad O-line.
Just like Taylor, Trubisky has a Pro Bowl nod and it is more recent. The two quarterbacks are more similar than any Charger fan would like to admit.
It is important to note that the Bears did not have the same weapons that the Chargers had this season but they definitely were not bad. Allen Robinson still had over 1,000 receiving yards and Tarik Cohen is one of the five-best pass-catching running backs in the league.
However, while the Bears’ offensive line was not good last year, if the Chargers O-line does not improve as much as hoped then it will be worse than the 2019 Bears. That difference will make up the difference in passing weapons.
The 2019 Chicago Bears are the perfect example of a talented roster, that we have seen is capable of winning a lot of games, fall right into the middle of the pack because of the quarterback play. This could be a likely fate for the 2020 LA Chargers.