The Bears’ 2018 schedule presents plenty of opportunities for Chicago to prove itself as an up-and-coming contender in the NFC. The home schedule alone features games against the Patriots and Rams, plus the usual slate of NFC North rivals.
Bottom line: The Bears and new coach Matt Nagy have an opportunity to establish themselves as NFC contenders in 2018, and their schedule, even with a few tough games throughout, is manageable enough for them to pull it off. Second-year quarterback Mitchell Trubisky’s development will be tested by tough defenses at times, but overall, he and the offense should have opportunities to flourish. Record prediction: 9-7
Below is a breakdown of the Seahawks’ schedule in 2018.
Toughest tests: The Cowboys, armed again with running back Ezekiel Elliott for a full season and a further developed QB in Dak Prescott, present the Seahawks a tough intraconference matchup, even though Dallas will have to travel to Seattle. The Seahawks also have to travel all the way to London for their October matchup against the Raiders.
Biggest breaks: For the most part, Seattle draws its toughest opponents (on paper) at home. The Seahawks also have to make just one trip to the East Coast in 2018 — their trip to Carolina to play the Panthers. Of course, that does not include the trip to London.
The second-year back rushed for 127 yards in his NFL debut last season, breaking Adrian Peterson ‘s franchise record in the process. He was among the league leaders in rushing with 354 yards at 4.8 yards a pop through four games before injuring his left knee.
When Cook returns, he’ll be joined by Cousins, who Zimmer reiterated has made a good first impression and already grown into a team leader.
“I think it started when he had [Stefon] Diggs and [Adam] Thielen go down to Atlanta [in April] and throw the ball. He’s been very positive and upbeat the whole time we’ve been out here. Like a lot of times, leadership, if you do your job really good, you become a leader. And he’s done it very well this spring.”
Expectations are high for the Vikings after appearing in their first NFC title game in eight years. Zimmer made it a point to say reaching the conference championship last season, a 38-7 loss to the Philadelphia Eagles, was a valuable experience for the simple fact that they hadn’t been there before.