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Predicting The 2014 -15 Chicago Bears Season

Alan Pearson

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As the weather starts to get a little colder and the days grow shorter we know that summer is coming to an end. As summer in the Windy City concludes, Chicagoans will no longer be able to go to the beach or hang out at festivals. But all hope is not lost because when summer comes to an end, football season begins.

That’s right; the Chicago Bears are back and looking to get to the playoffs for the first time since 2011. It is the second year under Head Coach Marc Trestman and the Bears are poised to compete for an NFC North division title.

The health of veterans like Lance Briggs will be a deciding fac- tor in the Chicago Bears’ success this season

The health of veterans like Lance Briggs will be a deciding fac- tor in the Chicago Bears’ success this season

In order to get that division title, the Bear’s biggest obstacles will be to improve on defense and Jay Cutler remaining healthy all season.

By now, everyone knows that the Bears struggled on defense last season. Being last in the NFL in rushing defense, General Manager Phil Emery really went out and addressed the defensive line in the offseason. With additions of Jared Allen, Lamarr Houston, Willie Young and Will Sutton, the Bears should be better at stopping the run. They won’t be the best but they certainly will not be the worst.

Mel Tucker, Defensive Coordinator for the Bears, is back at his same position even after a number of fans wanted him fired. While it is easy just to blame the guy in charge for everything bad that has happened, it was not entirely his fault. D.J. Williams, Lance Briggs and Charles Tillman are just a few of the defensive players who were hurt for significant amount of time last season. Six of the Bears starting 11 on defense missed a significant amount of time. Those are the veterans and leaders of that defense, not having them out there really hurt the Bears.

Chicago’s defense is one of the older defenses in the league so injuries could strike again, but if they can stay healthy they could easily be a top 15 defense by year’s end. If the offense is the same as it was last year, a top 15 defense could carry Trestman’s team to an NFC title.

Speaking of health and the offense, the Bears no longer have backup quarterback Josh McCown to bail them out. Because of that, this could probably be the biggest season of Jay Cutler’s career. The veteran just got a massive extension; he has arguably the best wide receiver duo in the league and now fully understands Marc Trestman’s system and scheme. There is no way anyone can make an excuse for him if things go poorly. Cutler needs to stay healthy and needs to perform if the Bears are going to get anywhere this season.

As for the schedule, the Bears have a couple of tough road games (@SF, @NE and @CAR). They caught a break by catching the Saints in Chicago in the middle of winter. I could see the Bears being around .500 up until the week nine-bye week. After the bye week they have the final five out of eight games at home and could catch fire to make the playoffs.

If the defense can be a middle of the pack defense and Jay Cutler can stay healthy, this team should have no problem winning at least ten games. The Green Bay Packers schedule is a more favorable one than the Bears, so I see the Packers going 12-4. The Bears will blow an easy game at some point but they will make up for it with a tough win in week 5 at Carolina and finish the season at 11-5 with a playoff berth.

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