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Bears’ Super Bowl Odds Worsen After Adding Andy Dalton, Not Russell Wilson

Bryan Thiel

by Bryan Thiel in NFL Football

Mar 16, 2021 · 6:48 PM PDT

Andy Dalton, QB, Chicago Bears
Dallas Cowboys quarterback Andy Dalton looks to pass during the first half of an NFL football game against the New York Giants, Sunday, Jan. 3, 2021, in East Rutherford, N.J. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)
  • After aggressively pursuing Russell Wilson, the Chicago Bears were forced to settle for Andy Dalton
  • The ‘will they, won’t they’ pursuit of the star QB has seen Chicago’s Super Bowl 56 odds fluctuate
  • See what the Bears’ odds have settled at and whether Chicago is a worthwhile bet

Try as they might, the Chicago Bears just weren’t able to make a marriage with Russell Wilson happen.  According to the Seattle Seahawks and Adam Schefter, Wilson won’t be traded ‘at this time’.

So Ryan Pace and the Bears were forced to pivot. That meant handing Andy Dalton a one-year, $10-million contract.

No one is confusing Dalton for Wilson or Deshaun Watson. So understandably the move has a negative impact on Chicago’s championship odds, which were improving on the chance they landed Russ.

Super Bowl 56 Odds

Team Odds
Kansas City Chiefs +500
Tampa Bay Buccaneers +800
Green Bay Packers +1100
Buffalo Bills +1300
Baltimore Ravens +1300
Los Angeles Rams +1300
San Francisco 49ers +1500
Cleveland Browns +2200
Indianapolis Colts +2200
New Orleans Saints +2500
Dallas Cowboys +2800
Miami Dolphins +2800
New England Patriots +3000
Tennessee Titans +3000
Seattle Seahawks +3000
Chicago Bears +5000

Odds as of March 16th from DraftKings

The Bears actually sit 20th on the Super Bowl odds, as the dust settles on a frantic opening to the free agency tampering period.

Chicago opened the off-season way back at +6600 on average. When Wilson’s list of his four preferred destinations leaked, they inched closer to +5000. In terms of individual books, DraftKings had them as short as +4000 in anticipation of a Wilson trade.

But for now, that’s all irrelevant. So how good can the Bears be with Dalton under center?

What Does Dalton Have Left?

After flirting with the idea of bringing Dalton aboard a year ago, Chicago pulled the trigger on Tuesday.

But after seven healthy and productive seasons to open his career, Dalton has stumbled the last three.

A thumb injury ended a good 2018, but his numbers plummeted the following year. Brought in as a backup to Dak Prescott in Dallas, Dalton finished with 2,170 yards, 14 touchdowns and eight interceptions following Prescott’s season-ending injury.

He managed just a 4-5 record with Dallas.

Andy Dalton vs Mitch Trubisky: 2020

Andy Dalton
Mitch Trubisky

216/333 Comp/Att 199/297
64.9 Completion Percentage 67.0
2,170 Yards 2,055
14 Touchdowns 16
8 Interceptions 8
87.3 Rating 93.5
53.8 QBR 61.3

Trubisky out-performed Dalton last year thanks in large part to a red-hot second half. But a dud in the playoffs against the Saints wasn’t enough to keep his job.

But was Trubisky doing more with less compared to Dalton? When comparing the Cowboys and Bears receivers, Allen Robinson lands the highest receiving grade at 88.3 according to PFF. But Amari Cooper and CeeDee Lamb were the only other receivers in that group to finish with grades above 70.

The Dallas trio also accounted for more yards and TDs than Chicago’s top three.

Targets Want Out of Chicago

While there may be a downgrade in receiver depth on paper, it could be about to get much more significant.

First of all, there’s the whole Allen Robinson fiasco. The Bears didn’t want to let him walk for nothing, so they Franchise Tagged him. But according to Robinson, there’s been no contract talks since September.

Then, in the middle of the second day of the legal tampering period, it was reported that Chicago may move Anthony Miller. Miller was overtaken by Darnell Mooney on the depth chart last year, but it would still be a blow to the receivers.

So even though we’re early in the off-season, there’s a chance Dalton’s arsenal is significantly hampered before he even steps on the field. And that’s not even considering the fact that the Bears will be hoping for a second-year leap out of Cole Kmet.

Bears Left Looking Up in Super Bowl Picture

Despite the fact they’ll be riding their defense once again, it’s tough to back the Bears to even return to the playoffs.

If Andy Dalton is Plan A, then there’s an argument to be made that bringing back Mitch Trubisky would’ve been the better decision. That’s not even taking into account the reportedly unsettled futures of two of their top three targets.

The free agent crop at QB didn’t do the Bears any favors. But unless the Seahawks decide to move Wilson, or Ryan Pace antes up for Deshaun Watson, Chicago just isn’t worth it at this point in the off-season.

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