Da Windy City Chicago Bears’ Season Preview


Aug 8, 2014; Chicago, IL, USA; Chicago Bears head coach Marc Trestman (C) looks on in the third quarter during a preseason game against the Philadelphia Eagles at Soldier Field. Mandatory Credit: David Banks-USA TODAY Sports

The Chicago Bears open up their season on Sunday against the Buffalo Bills at Soldier Field.

The Bears are entering a season in which most expect the the team to be in playoff contention. The Bears fell one game short of the playoffs last season as their season ended after a Week 17 loss to the Green Bay Packers.

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  • In that game, the Bears struggles on defense were highlighted. On the Packers’ last offensive play of the game, the play in which Aaron Rodgers connected with Randall Cobb for the decisive touchdown, the Bears had an all out blitz and still were not able to reach Rodgers before he threw the pass to Cobb. On the back end of that play, Bears’ safety Chris Conte was out of place and that is what led to Cobb being wide open and scoring the touchdown.

    In the off-season, the Bears took measures to improve their defense. The Bears added Jared Allen, Lamarr Houston, and Willie Young to the defensive line while also signing safeties Ryan Mundy and Danny McCray. Allen and Houston are the Bears’ starting defensive ends while Mundy will be one of the Bears’ starting safeties.

    The additions of Allen and Houston figure to improve the Bears’ pass rush, and with an improved pass rush, the Bears secondary should also be improved.

    Defense has the been the area of concern for the Bears while the offense is once again expected to be among the best in the NFL this season.

    So with a prolific offense and an improved defense, how far will the Bears go in 2014?

    Michael Whitlow is Da Windy City’s resident Indianapolis Colts fan and provided an outsider’s perspective on the Bears’ upcoming season.

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    Whitlow’s Take

    As an outsider looking into the 2014 season for the Chicago Bears, I’m not a huge believer in Da Bears, but I do believe this offense will be one to fear. Brandon Marshall is a top-five wide receiver in the National Football League and his chemistry with Jay Cutler has been a bright spot for Bears fans since his arrival in 2012. On top of that, the Bears have one of the most improved offensive lines in the NFC, a versatile running back in Matt Forte and possess one of the bright young weapons in football in Alshon Jeffery.

    The reason why I have doubts about the Bears overtaking Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers in the NFC North is the defense. Sure, Chicago is known as a city of defense (Google the 1985 Chicago Bears and the current Chicago Bulls). Even with the off-season signings of Jared Allen and Lamarr Houston to provide some defensive line support, the safety depth is highly questionable and captains Lance Briggs and Charles “Peanut” Tillman are both 33 years old. I still think the Bears are at least a nine-win team even with a rugged schedule, but that won’t be enough against the best quarterback in football and an improved defense in Green Bay.

    David Ridderholf is a firm believer in the improvements that the Bears have made this season.

    Ridderholf’s Take

    This is the year? You don’t have to believe me, but it is. This is the year that the Bears will finish top 10 in both offense and defense. This is the year that the Bears sweep the Green Bay Packers. This is the year they win the NFC. Super Bowl? Here we come, ready or not.

    Sure I’m optimistic, we have one of the top 10 best quarterbacks in the NFL and two top 10 wide receivers, along with a top 5 running back. Can you say no.1 offense? On defense the team added more than enough, a new safety and three pass rushers who will wreak havoc on Matthew Stafford, Aaron Rodgers and whoever lines up late in the year for the Minnesota Vikings. I see 12 wins, I see a first round bye, and I see an NFC Championship for the Bears. A Super Bowl? I’m not so sure, but I think they’ll be there. A guy can hope can’t he?

    Carlos Nazario is a features writer for Da Windy City and offered his opinion on the Bears’ upcoming season.

    Nazario’s Take

    The Chicago Bears will be greatly improved on defense, but that doesn’t necessarily mean it will be great. The improved defense will complement the offense, and allow the Bears to finally break through and make it to the playoffs, where they will win at least one game. Jay Cutler will have a breakout season and finish in the top five in MVP voting.

    The Bears will finish the season with a 10-6 record, second in the NFC North.

    Jordan Campbell is Da Windy City’s beat reporter for the Bears and gives his preview of the season ahead.

    The additions of Allen and Houston figure to improve the Bears’ pass rush, and with an improved pass rush, the Bears secondary should also be improved.

    Campbell’s Take

    Finally. Finally, after all the non-sense about Lance Briggs’ restaurant and over-analyzing the pre-season, the Chicago Bears are finally playing meaningful games. Meaningful games in which many fans will be looking intensely at the Bears’ defense to see if the unit has improved from last season.

    There will be an improvement.

    Given how successful the Bears offense should be behind MVP candidate Jay Cutler–yeah, I said it–and wide receivers Brandon Marshall and Alshon Jeffery, the Bears defense will be put in a position to thrive. Why? Because opposing teams will be playing from behind, and will be forced to pass more as opposed to run. Therefore, the increased passing attempts from opposing offenses will mark for a field day for the likes of Jared Allen and Lamarr Houston.

    But what does that mean in terms of the standings?

    Unfortunately, Green Bay Packers’ quarterback Aaron Rodgers is the best quarterback in the NFL. Much like how you don’t bet against LeBron James in the NBA, you simply don’t bet against the Rodgers in the NFL. The Packers will win the NFC North division, but the Bears will undoubtedly be a wild card team with 10 wins and should advance past the first round of the playoffs this season.

    What are your predictions? Fire off in the comments section about what you think you will see out of the Bears this season.