Chicago Bears 2013 NFL Preview

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First Round selection Kyle Long poses for the media.

When the Green Bay Packers failed to defeat the Minnesota Vikings in Week 17 of the 2012 NFL Season, the people of Chicago felt a despair that was all too familiar to the previous year. With the hope of a new coach in Marc Trestman’s offensive systems instead of Lovie Smith’s defensive minded sets brings many positive outlooks for the Chicago Bears. Past the mid-point of the 2012 season, the Bears spotted a record of 7-2 and were ready to face the Houston Texans on Sunday Night Football. A rainy scene at Soldier Field was on a chilly November night, as which could be seen as the turning point for their season.  A loss to the Texans would eventually begin the downfall of what looked to be a promising season for Chicago.

Quarterbacks Josh McCown (left) and Jay Cutler (right) chat after a drill set at Bears Training Camp.
Quarterbacks Josh McCown (left) and Jay Cutler (right) chat after a drill set at Bears Training Camp.

New Changes:

Ridding the Team of Lovie Smith and bringing in Trestman is a decision Phil Emery didn’t make too lightly. The Bear’s issues with the offensive line have not been superb, and an offense needs to be established that can produce as well as the defense. While Quarterback Jay Cutler can sense the presence in the pocket easily, he will have Trestman’s West-Coast style of offense to help him become a more accurate passer. With the recent acquisition of Martellus Bennett from the New York Giants, along with Matt Forte and Brandon Marshall, Cutler has all of the tools he needs to get the ball into the end zone. It will only take time for the team to work under Trestman’s new style of offense, as key players of the defense still remain to bolster Chicago’s forced turnover ratio.

Tough Losses/Recent Acquisitions:

The loss of veteran Brian Urlacher’s leadership skills on the field and defensive presence does take its toll on the defense, but Julius Peppers and Charles “Peanut” Tillman can lead the defense to be just as stingy as the previous seasons. Lance Briggs returns to the Bears as the front-runner to make the calls in the defensive huddles. The offensive line was to be the main concern at the 2013 NFL Draft, drafting the brother of Chris Long, Kyle out of Oregon. Some of the key players that have the spotlight on them this training camp include Jay Cutler, Matt Forte, and second year receiver Alshon Jeffery. Jeffery has shined in the camps, including a deep touchdown pass from Jay Cutler that brought Bears fans together in jubilance. Forte continues to produce as a steady back for Chicago, as long as he can stay healthy through the full season. Backup running back Michael Bush’s second year as a Bear does also provide some stimulated relief if Forte were to miss any part of the year.

Leading the NFL in turnover differential of plus-20 certainly creates high expectations again this season for the Bears defense. Giving up one of the league worst 44 sacks last season does bring about some major concerns. The Bears are hoping that the signings of free agents Jermon Bushrod, D.J. Williams, and James Anderson will be beneficiary for ridding of the sacks and creating turnovers.

What I Think:

I believe the Bears will be again fighting for their playoff hopes riding against their own division as it has been the last few seasons respectively. The pressure is on for Trestman, as anything but the Super Bowl would be seen as a failure. Normally, a 10-6 team would be in the playoffs. When the team bolsters that record and doesn’t make the playoffs one game out, the system has got to change, and it has dramatically. The Packers and Vikings will be the tougher match-ups on the year, with a Monday Night Football game on the 4th of November and a week 17 matchup both vs. Green Bay. If the Bears are going to make the playoffs, Jay Cutler needs to feel protected from his offensive line. He needs to connect on the deep passes with other receivers not named Marshall, and the defense needs to continue being top of the tier.

Season Prediction: 11-5.

 

 

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