NFL.com analyst Bucky Brooks has identified the Bears as one of five NFL teams that are in position to win the Super Bowl this season.
The other four clubs are the Patriots, Rams, Cowboys and Browns.
“You can pencil these teams into your playoff bracket, likely as high seeds,” Brooks wrote. “They not only have all of the pieces of the puzzle in place, but they possess the right mix of veterans and youngsters to make it happen in 2019.”
To be considered a Super Bowl contender, Brooks feels teams must possess 8-10 difference-makers who are top-10 players at their respective positions. They must also boast steady performers in the following areas: a franchise quarterback, three offensive playmakers, three offensive linemen, two pass rushers and three defensive playmakers.
According to Brooks, the Bears check all those boxes with Mitchell Trubisky (franchise quarterback); Tarik Cohen, Allen Robinson II and Trey Burton (offensive playmakers); Bobby Massie, Charles Leno Jr. and Kyle Long (offensive linemen); Khalil Mack and Akiem Hicks (pass rushers) and Roquan Smith, Kyle Fuller and Eddie Jackson (defensive playmakers).
Brooks is extremely high on Mack, a four-time Pro Bowler who was acquired by the Bears last Sept. 1 in a blockbuster trade with the Raiders.
“It’s not a coincidence the Bears surged to the top of the NFC North after acquiring Khalil Mack just before last season kicked off,” Brooks wrote. “The ultra-explosive sack master not only completed Ryan Pace’s roster makeover, but No. 52 gave the Bears the high-end difference maker needed to seriously contend for the Lombardi Trophy.”