Jordan Howard Believed All the Way Back in February: "We're Definitely Going to Win the North"

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Jordan Howard Believed All the Way Back in February: “We’re Definitely Going to Win the North”

Chicago Bears

Everything is proceeding how Jordan Howard has foreseen:

Shortly after the Philadelphia Eagles won the Super Bowl nearly a year after Alshon Jeffery called his shot, Chicago Bears running back Jordan Howard took a page out of his ex-teammates playbook and stepped to the plate to take his swing for the fences. Howard and the Bears took a mighty cut and look at them now, NFC North champions!

Check out what we had to say back when Howard threw down with his prediction:

I’m not one to temper expectations when a player makes a boastful claim as Howard did. Howard is a talented player who did something no other Bears back had done in franchise history by rushing for more than 1,000 years in each of his first two seasons. He is surrounded by a quarterback in Mitch Trubisky who owns plenty of upside and a head coach in Matt Nagy who he is excited to work with in 2018. Sure, the Bears could use help at wide receiver and along the offensive line, but it’s not as if this would be the first time a worst-to-first scenario unfolded in the NFL.

Not only was this not the first time a worst-to-first scenario has played out in the NFL, it’s the 15th time in the last 16 years. Statistically speaking, this was bound to happen for someone. Why wouldn’t we think it would be the Bears, a team that had finished the last four years in the NFC North cellar, had a new coach, developing quarterback, premier draft positioning, and gobs of money to spend on free agency. Howard saw the light at the end of the tunnel, then spoke excellence into existence. Honestly, he should be commended for his service.

As for the rest of you, there is certainly some explaining to do.

The USA Today’s prediction piece we highlighted in a set of July Bullets predicted the Bears were going to finish outside of the NFC North basement, but would finish behind the Vikings (12-4) and Packers (11-5). It also pegged the Chiefs at 7-9, Seahawks at 4-12, Falcons at 11-5, and Jaguars at 12-4. Whoopsiedoodle.

And to think, that was on the optimistic side of the prediction/projection spectrum.

In a group of Bullets we wrote back in July, we noted that’s Elliot Harrison ranked Matt Nagy as the 25th best coach in the NFL. Not only was Nagy on the lower end of the totem pole, he was ranked behind Detroit’s Matt Patricia as far as newcomers were concerned. Meanwhile, Jon Gruden checked in among the top 10. Yeesh. As for the team Nagy was coaching, the outlook didn’t look to rosy.

ESPN’s Todd McShay pegged the Bears to have the second overall pick in the 2019 NFL Draft, while an ESPN/Football Outsiders collaboration projected the Bears were more than twice as likely to pick inside the top-5 (27 percent) than they were to make the playoffs (12 percent). Noted talking head Colin Cowherd predicted a fifth consecutive last-place finish, while’s Jonathan Jones saw the Bears taking a step back in Matt Nagy’s first year and finishing with a worse record than they did in 2017. They were expected to be favored in just three games this year. Yikes!

Predictions are hard, so I’m not using this as a GOTCHA! moment. Instead, I’m in more of a mindset to view these missed predictions as a teachable moment. There are valuable lessons to be learned when it comes to predictions, projections, and general analysis. Perhaps the biggest takeaway to be had is that we (as a public) should be more open to possibilities we don’t expect, particularly ones we haven’t seen before. Remember, past success is not an indication of future results and just because something hasn’t happened doesn’t mean it can’t or won’t happen. I feel as if that nuanced idea gets lost in hot-headed blind takes, then forgotten once everyone moves on from it the moment.

All of that is to say that Jordan Howard and Alshon Jeffery might as well be two peas in a pod. Both had the gumption to speak out and believe in themselves and their teammates. And in a world where we want athletes to speak candidly about their futures, Howard should be honored for speaking the 2018 NFC North championship into reality all the way back in February.

What other predictions does RB1 have? I’m asking for a friend who wants to make another trip to Vegas, soon.

Author: Luis Medina

Luis Medina is a Writer at Bleacher Nation, and you can find him on Twitter at@lcm1986.