Saturday, July 27, 2013

NFL 2013 Preview - Chicago Bears

CHICAGO BEARS                                                                   

Head Coach: Marc Trestman

2012 Record: 10-6-0 (3rd in NFC North)

New Players: TE Martellus Bennett; LB D.J. Williams; LB James Anderson; DT Sedrick Ellis; OT Jermon Bushrod.

Gone Elsewhere: QB Jason Campbell; LB Brian Urlacher (retired); OL Lance Louis; CB D.J. Moore; LB Nick Roach.

Offense: The Bears will again rely on the tandem of QB Jay Cutler and WR Brandon Marshall, who had a big year in his first season in Chicago, catching 118 passes for 1,508 yards and eleven touchdowns. Cutler threw for 3,033 yards with 19 touchdowns and 14 interceptions.
Running back Matt Forte' also will be relied upon big time in new Head Coach Marc Trestman's offensive
QB Jay Cutler
scheme. Forte' ran for 1,094 yards for a 4.4 ypc average and scored five times on the ground. Michael Bush is also on hand in the backfield.
Second year man Alshon Jeffery (24 catches, 367 yards, three TD) and Earl Bennett (29, 375, two TD) will be targets Cutler looks to other than Marshall. Tight End Martellus Bennett comes to the Bears this year after catching 55 passes for 626 yards and five touchdowns with the Giants last year.
Justin Pugh was the top draft pick for Chicago and will be given the chance to win the starting right tackle spot. Left tackle will be Will Beatty. The center is David Baas and the guards are Kevin Boothe and Chris Snee.

Defense: The big change here will be at linebacker, where Brian Urlacher, one of the all-time greats in Bears' history, is gone after refusing a contract offer from the team and then decided to retire when no better offers came along. Also gone from the linebacking corps is Nick Roach, who left for free agency. 
However, Lance Briggs is still around at linebacker and will be the center piece of the defense along with corners Charles Tillman and Tim Jennings, who both had strong seasons a year ago.
Jennings led the NFL with nine interceptions (one for a touchdown) while Tillman had three picks, which he
Julius Peppers
took back for a score every time. Safety Major Wright made four interceptions and will team with Chris Conte in the secondary.
Up front Julius Peppers returns at defensive end after registering 11 1/2 sacks a year ago. Along with Peppers, the Bears have Corey Wootton at end and the tackles are Henry Melton and Stephen Paea.
Along with Briggs, the Bears have former Denver Bronco D.J. Williams and James Anderson in the  linebacking unit, Also in the fold will be rookies Jon Bostic and Khaseem Greene at linebacker.

OUTLOOK:  After finishing 10-6 last season, the Bears finished out of the playoffs and Lovie Smith was fired as Head Coach.
This season, it's time for a change with Marc Trestman taking over and promising to open up the offense more with the rifle armed QB Jay Cutler and big play WR Brandon Marshall. Plus the fact that Tretsman's system utilizes the running backs bodes well for Matt Forte' in the upcoming season.
The O-Line MUST protect Cutler and give him the time to throw the ball to his targets on a consistent level.
The defense will see new faces and as long as the pressure up front is steady, it should provide for a good year for the Bears.
The secondary was stellar last year, picking off a league high 24 passes which led to a plus-20 in the turnover charts, which was second in the NFL.
The NFC North is a strong division with Green Bay and Minnesota in the fold. The Detroit Lions took a step back last year but always seem to be a tough game for the Bears.
There is no reason to believe the Bears won't contend for the NFC Playoffs this season, given the talent they have on both sides of the ball. How well and how fast they adapt to the new coaching staff will be the key factor in 2013 on how good this team can be.
Look for a 10-6 finish again, which may get the Bears into the post-season as a wild card team.


Sept. 8- vs. Cincinnati
Sept. 15- vs. Minnesota
Sept. 22- at Pittsburgh
Sept. 29- at Detroit
Oct. 6- vs. New Orleans
Oct. 10- vs. NY Giants
Oct. 20- at Washington
Oct. 27- BYE WEEK
Nov. 4- at Green Bay
Nov. 10- vs. Detroit
Nov. 17- vs. Baltimore
Nov. 24- at St. Louis
Dec. 1- at Minnesota
Dec. 9- vs. Dallas
Dec. 15- at Cleveland
Dec. 22- at Philadelphia
Dec. 29- vs. Green Bay

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