3. Chicago Bears
Last season the Chicago Bears tried to move on from longtime kicker Robbie Gould after a rocky preseason. Gould ended up on the New York Giants where he didn’t miss a field goal all season.
Meanwhile, the Bears decided to go with Connor Barth who has bounced around the league in his first nine NFL seasons. In Chicago, Barth had another lackluster season. He was 78% on field goals along with only being 1-3 on kicks longer than 50 yards. As a kicker, the team puts a lot of trust in you to get that one in, as it sets up the other team with great field position on a miss.
So to give Barth competition the Bears went out and signed Andy Phillips to compete with him. The Utah product was once a top skier but decided to come try his luck with football instead. He’s coming into the season as a 28-year-old. But if he has some leg on him he really has a chance to beat out Barth.
At punter, the Bears are set with their longtime starter Pat O’Donnell. Last season he averaged 44 yards a punt along with putting 24 of them inside the 20-yard line. Sometimes you don’t need a guy to change the world, you just need him to do his job and do it well. That’s exactly what the Bears get with O’Donnell.
If the Bears had stuck it out with Gould, I think I would have them at number two. Instead, they took a chance with Barth and it really didn’t pay off for them.