Author: windyrock

Predictions

2016 Chicago Bears Predictions

After finishing a brutally, rough, and disappointing season in 2015, things are honestly looking up for the Bears in the upcoming season. If history repeats itself, then that means John Fox has an excellent chance at another turnaround season. Let’s not forget he led the 2003 Carolina Panthers and the 2013 Denver Broncos both to Super Bowls after having mediocre seasons the previous years.

Chicago’s defense was exposed as one of their biggest weaknesses over the last couple of seasons, and from the looks of it, they may have finally filled that missing piece to the puzzle.

Rookie Leonard Floyd was drafted in the first round of the 2016 draft. The pass rush should be greatly improved, especially with him coming off the edge. Eddie Goldman, defensive tackle, transformed into an absolute beast over the course of his rookie season.

Let’s not forget Jerrell Freeman, Danny Trevathan, Akiem Hicks, and Bobby Massie. All key ingredients to improve their defense and a shot at the playoffs.

After completely missing his rookie season, Kevin White is a stud that is ready to dominate the field. Paired up with Alshon Jeffrey, there is talk of those two breaking out to be one of the top duos in the entire NFL. Despite all of the controversy with Jay Cutler, one thing that is certain, is that he has one hell of an arm and can make huge plays down the field. I still think he’s one of our best quarterbacks ever.  Both receivers are huge targets for Cutler and are both more than capable of making big plays down the field. Jay Cutler finally has weapons again.

We can’t ignore the fact that we have lost Matt Forte, Martellus Bennett, and Shea McClellin. Also, Chicago’s offensive play-caller, Adam Gase, left to take the head job in Miami. While the Bears have huge upside, they still lost some very key components.

Another extremely important note to take, is the fact that the Chicago Bears only face one team the first 6 weeks that made the playoffs last season. I know that’s not saying much due to some of the teams they lost to last year, but this is a new, rejuvenated, team this year.

Not everyone is as optimistic though.  I checked the latest NFL lines from boydsbets.com.  They show the Bears at 50/1 to win the Super Bowl, 28/1 to win the NFC, 9/1 to win the NFC North, and pegged for only 7.5 wins.  I seriously doubt they are worse than the Lions and can’t believe the odds reflect that.  Might be some value with Chicago this year.

Week 1: Sunday, Sept 11 at Houston Texas, 1 p.m. ET

With J.J. Watt admitting how beat up he is from the last few seasons, Brock Osweiler looking takeover the lead QB position in a new environment, and with all of Chicago’s potential and new weapons? Record 1-0

Week 2: Monday, Sept 19 vs. Philadelphia Eagles, 8:30 p.m. ET

The Eagles got rid of RB Demarco Murray, Sam Bradford signed a huge extension, although I don’t see that benefiting them much after the giant mess Chip Kelly left them with. Record 2-0

Week 3: Sunday, Sept 25 at Dallas Cowboys, 8:30 p.m. ET

Not only are the Bears coming off of a short week, but Dallas still has one of the most elite offensive lines. As long as Tony Romo stays healthy this is going to be a tough team to beat. Record 2-1

Week 4: Sunday, Oct. 2 at Detroit Lions, 1 p.m. ET

Finally, the Bears dreaded nightmare has finally come to an end, Calvin “Megatron” Johnson has finally retired. I have insane respect for him, but he was literally a one man Bears destroyer. Record 3-1

Week 5: Sunday, Oct. 9 at Indianapolis Colts, 1 p.m. ET

Andrew Luck is coming off of his career-worst INT percentage (4.1) alongside being plagued with injuries for half of the season. Unfortunately, he seems to be perfectly healthy for the 2016 season. Colts Pro Bowl cornerback Vontae Davis seems to take advantage of Jay Cutler whenever they meet. It’s going to be a close one but I think the Bears fall short. Record 3-2

Week 6: Sunday, Oct. 16 vs. Jacksonville Jaguars, 1 p.m. ET

I realize the Jaguars have spent a nice chunk of money in free agency, but they have managed to only win 12 games in three seasons, they were 1-7 on the road last year, and haven’t had a winning season since 2007. Record 4-2

Week 7: Thursday, Oct. 20 at Green Bay Packers, 8:25 p.m. ET

Yes, the Bears somehow pulled off a win vs the Packers last season. Jordy Nelson is back from the knee injury, Aaron Rodgers still wants revenge, and let’s face it, the Packers have dominated the Bears in recent years. Record 4-3

Week 8: Monday, Oct. 31 vs. Minnesota Vikings, 8:30 p.m. ET

After the embarrassing loss last year, giving up 10 points in the final two minutes of the game, the Bears have made plenty of enough adjustments with their roster to not let that happen again, hopefully… Record 5-3

Week 9: Bye week

Week 10: Sunday, Nov. 13 at Tampa Bay Buccaneers, 1 p.m. ET

Jameis Winston is definitely pure talent. Doug Martin is just too inconsistent recently to put them ahead. I don’t think they have enough to pull ahead. The Bears are coming off two weeks of rest and should rack up another W with this one. Record 6-3

Week 11: Sunday, Nov. 20 at New York Giants, 1 p.m. ET

This is an extremely tough call for anyone to make. Ben McAdoo replaced Tom Coughlin but for what cost? He has never had a head coach job at any level, including high school, and has only served two years as an offensive coordinator. The Giants have superstars still, spent a ton of money in free agency, but my overall decision is going to be my gut instinct. Last year the Bears lost to teams that we “should have beat” and I feel like this will be one of them this season. Record 6-4

Week 12: Sunday, Nov. 27 vs Tennessee Titans, 1 p.m. ET

Finishing 3-13 in 2015, early in their rebuilding process still, is looking to become a real threat in the next few years, but fall short in my eyes. Only the Cleveland Browns scored fewer among the AFC teams last year and I don’t see them turning it around vs the Bears. Record 7-4

Week 13: Sunday, Dec. 4 vs San Francisco 49ers, 1 p.m. ET

Another similar flashback of last season vs the Vikings, the 49ers managed to pull off an overtime win at Soldier Field. The QB issues over in San Francisco still concern me and I think the Bears won’t collapse at the end again… or will they? Record 8-4

Week 14: Sunday, Dec. 11 at Detroit Lions, 1 p.m. ET

I gave the Bears the benefit of the doubt with Calvin Johnson gone, but that doesn’t take away from Matt Stafford’s ability to dominate at Fort Field vs us. The Bears have not won there since 2012. The Lions take the split for the season to even it up. Record 8-5

Week 15: Sunday, Dec. 18 vs Green Bay Packers, 1 p.m. ET

Were at the end of the season, everyone is beat up, wore out. I look at Chicago’s roster and I feel like we have younger, hungry, players that are going to last longer throughout the course of the year. The Bears need this victory to make the playoffs. Record 9-5

Week 16: Saturday, Dec. 24 vs Washington Redskins, 1 p.m. ET

Don’t get me wrong, Kirk Cousins has proved himself in my opinion. Kirk and Jordan Reed annihilated them with touchdown drives of 80 and 83 yards on the first two possessions last year. The Bears are determined now to let the same mistakes as last year happen under the leadership of John Fox. Record 10-5

Week 17: Sunday, Jan. 1 at Minnesota Vikings, 1 p.m. ET

Last but not least, the Bears and Vikings meat again. I predicted the Bears pull out a victory the first time they meet, but the Vikings aren’t going to lose in their brand new home stadium, especially fighting for the playoffs. Record 10-6

Is this one of the best teams we have ever had?  Probably not.  But, I do think it’s good enough to make the playoffs and compete.

Best Lists

Best Bears Teams of All-Time

The Chicago Bears have one of the most respected and feared teams in football history, and have boasted many great teams in the NFC. This is a list of the top 5 teams in Chicago Bears history.  Will this year’s team make the list?  I think they get to double digit wins, but they’ll need to win a championship.

5. 2006 Bears

This team did something that no other team in the NFL could do, and that was to give Brett Farve the only shutout of his Hall of Fame career. Led on defense by one of the all-time greats in Brian Urlacher, they were able to finish they 2006 season with a 13-3 record.  The Bears even made it to the Super Bowl against the Indianapolis Colts. Unfortunately, they lost to the Colts 29-17.

4. 1934 Bears

This was just another of the tough and feared teams the Bears put on the field. They had in their backfield the famed Bronco Nagurski, and they finished of the season with a perfect 13-0 record on their way to the championship game versus the Giants. In this game the Bears were leading, but the Giants pulled a trick out of their hat when at halftime they exchanged their cleats for tennis shoes and were able to maneuver the terrible field conditions better. Bear ended up losing 30-13.

3. 1963 Bears

George Halas is the “Papa Bear” of the Bears. He’s led them to glory many times, and this was the last year he was able to coach them in a championship game. The Bears knew they could get to the championship game, but they also knew they would have to go through the Green Bay Packers to do it. To make matters worse for the Bears, the Packers were defending their championship title. They sent Coach Halas off to retirement with a championship over the New York Giants with an outstanding defensive effort. One of my favorite Bears teams of all time.

2. 1941 Bears

Some say this Bears team should be the #1 team on the list. I don’t argue that the numbers this team put up were great, but the #1 team on the list gets my vote anyway.

They ended the season 12-1, and they ran the ball for over 200 yards in a game nine times. They also scored three touchdowns with their defense and their special teams. That is great stuff, but the #1 team is one of legend.

1. 1985 Bears

It’s because of their defense that makes this team so great, but don’t forget Jim McMahon was one the best QBs in team history too. The late great Buddy Ryan was the architect of this defense that laid waste to opponents during the ’85 season. The defense lead Walter Payton and the rest of the Bears to a 15-1 record and a trouncing of the outmatched New England Patriots in the Super Bowl 46-10. That was the largest margin of victory in the Super Bowl ever. The defense was so good that the Falcons could only amass -22 yards passing. The best Bears team in history.

Best Lists

Great Chicago Bear Defenders

When you think the Chicago Bears you think defense.  They’ve had some of the best of all-time.  While we have already went over the best quarterbacks in team history, this list looks at the top individual players on defense.

Mike Singletary-LB
Mike became a starting linebacker for the Chicago Bears in 1981 as a rookie. The middle linebacker was one of the most important pieces in the Bear’s defense. One of the most ferocious, intimidating guys to ever play the game. Singletary was part of the best team in Chicago history in 1985. He played in ten Pro Bowls, All-Pro eight times, and was the heart and soul of the Bear’s defense. The “46” defense invented by Buddy Ryan (Another Bear’s icon). This scheme was perfected in 85′ to lead the Bears to a 15-1 record and allowed Singletary to be unblocked on virtually every play. Mike was named NFL Defensive Player of the Year in 85′ and 88′, elected to the College Football Hall of Fame in 1995, and to the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1998, also being ranked 56 on The Sporting News’ list of 100 Great Football Players.

Richard Dent-DE
Dent was drafted eighth round by the Bears in 1983 and surprised everyone with his successful abilities to pass rush effectively with his speed. It allowed the 46 scheme to be put in full stride. Richard is near the top in sacks in league history. He recorded 34.5 sacks during the 1984 and 1985 seasons, and recorded a team-record 17.5 sacks in the previous season. During the historic 1985 season, Richard led the NFL with 17 sacks, while recovering two fumbles and intercepting two passes that played huge roles in part of their success that season. Dent was awarded MVP of Super Bowl XX.

Dick Butkus-LB
Dick is still to this day considered to be one of the most feared NFL players of all time. Butkus was one of three first-round picks for the Bears in the 1965 NFL Draft. In his rookie season he led the Bears in tackles, forced fumbles, fumble recoveries, interceptions, and regularly led the team in these categories throughout his career. He is a member of the Hall of Fame, was selected to eight Pro Bowls, and voted as All-Pro six times during his career with the Bears. Butkus was one of the hardest hitting players in NFL history, which is why he caused so many fumbles, and remains one of the most feared players of all time.

Doug Atkins-DE
Before, Butkus came into the league, Doug was also crowned one of the most feared defenders in Chicago Bears history. With the Bears, Atkins was a First Team All-Pro selection in 1958, 1960, 1961, and 1963. In his last eight out of nine seasons with the Bears he was a starter in the Pro Bowl. NFL Network ranked him as number 9 Pass Rusher of All Time. In 1982 Atkins was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame and the College Football Hall of Fame in 1985.

Brian Urlacher-MLB
Brian’s career with the Bears was nothing but spectacular. He spent his whole entire 13-year career playing for the Chicago Bears. In the 2000 NFL Draft, Brian was selected ninth overall. It wasn’t long before he was established as one of the NFL’s most productive defensive players. Racking up seven Pro Bowl appearances, won the Defensive Player of the Year honor in 2005, and the NFL Rookie of the Year honor in 2000. Brian had an outstanding career with the Bears and hopes to get inducted into the Hall of Fame eventually.

You won’t see anyone from this year’s team make the list.  That’s probably why everyone expects them to finish below .500.  Except for me of course =)

Best Lists

Best Bears Quarterbacks Ever

Compiling a best of all time list for any sport or sport’s team is never an easy task. Why, because many of us have our own opinion about who was the best athlete of all time. However, sometimes the statistics speak for themselves, such as in the case of who the best Chicago Bear Quarterbacks of all time were. These men proved themselves on the football field and some have records that stand even decades after they since left the game.

Bill Wade

Originally playing for the Los Angeles Rams, Wade joined the Bears in 1961 as the starting quarterback and remained with the team till 1966. His claim to fame was that in the 1963 season he led the team to only one loss.

Jim Harbaugh

In his time with the Chicago Bears his reputation as starting quarterback for the team was more impressive than that of Wade. He played for the team from 1987-1993 during this time he helped to take the team to the playoffs in the 1990 and 1991 seasons.

Jim McMahon

For someone who never actually played a full season for the Chicago Bears but his seven years with the team is still impressive. Between the time of 1982-1988 he helped to lead the Bears to the Superbowl in 1985 (and was a big part of the Super Bowl Shuffle.) When you are the QB for the greatest team in franchise history you have to make the list.

Sid Luckman

Luckman may have played for the Chicago Bears between 1939-1950 but his record is still impressive decades later. During his time as quarterback for the team Sid Luckman led the Chicago Bears to four championships. He also had an impressive record of scoring seven touchdowns in one game. Since Luckman left the team the Chicago Bears have only two other championships to date proving how good a quarterback Luckman was for the team.

Jay Cutler

Currently the starting quarterback for the Chicago Bears, Jay Cutler has already raked up an impressive record. He is now being considered by some the best quarterback the Chicago Bears has ever had with good reason. Cutler is well on his way to breaking the long standing records made by the quarterbacks that proceeded him. If only he had some of the best defenders in Bears history.

He is now on track to even break Luckman’s long standing record. He has already in his seven years with the team surpassed both Luckman and McMahan in performance efficiency. Not bad for someone who was obtained through a trade after being chosen by the Broncos as a first round draft pick.  I think if he can get this year’s team to exceed expectations he’ll be the best without a doubt.

These are the ones considered by many to be the best quarterback ever to play for the Chicago Bears in the history of the team. Yes, again this is open to debate no doubt about that, but some of these names have indeed earned their place in the Pro Football Hall Of Fame.