Cancel whatever is left of the Chicago Bears’ quarterback derby.
If predictions from Madden NFL ’21 are accurate, then the undeniable choice to be the Bears’ starting quarterback in Week 1 is Nick Foles.
In a Madden ’21 simulation for Yahoo Sports, Foles leads the Bears to a 14-2 record. Not only that, Foles is the quarterback orchestrating the theoretical Bears magic, throwing for a league-leading 4,801 yards, 44 touchdowns, just five interceptions, and a 70 percent completion rate. Indeed, those are MVP-caliber numbers. So much so, Foles wins the simulated league’s MVP award. It’s everything GM Ryan Pace and Head Coach Matt Nagy dreamed of when trading a fourth-round pick to acquire Foles to push (and apparently, supplant) Mitchell Trubisky.
And to think, it gets better from here.
The Madden simulation ends with the Bears taking down the defending Super Bowl champion Chiefs by a 42-24 score. Foles throws for six touchdowns and the defense limits a Patrick Mahomes fueled offense to just 24 points. And to think, the wildest thing isn’t anything I listed above. Instead, it’s that any of it happened while Foles (71) had a lower Madden rating than Trubisky (72) to start the season. Foles putting up MVP numbers with a 71 rating speaks volumes about Nagy’s offense and the players within the system.
Ultimately, it’s the perfect ending for Bears fans who have been in agony since Cody Parkey’s double-doink in January 2019. Moreover, it would make for a storybook ending for one of the most compelling football stories in recent memory if that’s how the cookie crumbles.
Think back to what Pace inherited when he arrived in 2015. This was a franchise in disarray after two infuriating years under Marc Trestman. There was a complete tear-down and rebuild on the field. And off of it, a re-modeled and modernized Halas Hall to bring the organization’s training facility into the 21st century. In the end, winning Super Bowl LV with this core, this head coach, and this quarterback after whiffing on the quarterback position in the 2017 NFL Draft would be a surprise, to be sure — but a welcome one.
Now, how accurate are Madden’s simulations? Well, there’s a mixed bag. For instance, last year’s simulation predicted the Chiefs would win the Super Bowl. That happened. But it also forecast the Browns winning the AFC North. That didn’t happen. So maybe we shouldn’t take too much from this simulation. Nah, I’m preparing plans to travel to Tampa this winter (health pending, of course) as soon as I send this post.