The Chicago Bears might have only improved by one game in 2016, going from 5-11 to 6-10. However, there were positive signs to be taken from a losing season such as the growth and development of Jay Cutler, as he cut down on his turnovers, specifically interceptions. They also finally got over the hunch of beating Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers and Lambeau Field on Thanksgiving while also almost beating the Super Bowl Champion Denver Broncos as well.
John Fox is also known as a coach that can turn around football programs in their second year with a strong defense and powerful running game. You mix that in with a relatively easy schedule on paper, the Bears should improved. Is it enough for postseason play for the first time since 2010, however?
The Bears will also basically get two first-round picks since Wide Receiver Kevin White missed all of last year with an injury and they added pass rusher Leonard Floyd in this year’s draft. As far as free agency, they have added two inside linebackers in Jerrell Freeman and Danny Trevathan. This was an area of weakness for the Bears last year, and they are hoping these moves will improve this position. They still need some help in the secondary as that appears to be a weakness.
They were able to keep Alshon Jeffery on the franchise tag for another year, but can they get a long-term done deal done? Let’s take a look at their season and make some early predictions.
Week 1: at Houston Texans Sun., Sept. 11 at 12 p.m.
The Bears are known to do well when it comes to openers. Against a young and semi-inexperienced QB in Brock Osweiler, I expect the Bears to come out and surprise people.
Week 2: Philadelphia Eagles Mon., Sept. 19 at 7:30 p.m.
The Bears are catching Philadelphia at a good time, as they have a new head coach and a lot of question marks and changes. The Bears go 2-0 and people are really talking.
Week 3: at Dallas Cowboys Mon., Sept. 25 at 7:30 p.m.
If Dallas is the Dallas of 2014, I expect them to win, as they will have a healthy Romo, Dez, and a new rooking running back. This is the first loss of the season for the Bears.
Week 4: Detroit Lions Sun., Oct. 2 at 12 p.m.
Without Calvin Johnson, the infamous Bears-killer, I don’t see the Lions winning seven in a row against the Bears.
Week 5: at Indianapolis Colts Sun., Oct. 9 at 12 p.m.
Andrew Luck has a new contract and plenty of weapons around him. If this game was played in Chicago, I might feel differently. Luck pulls it out in the fourth.
Week 6: Jacksonville Jaguars Sun., Oct. 16 at 12 p.m.
At home, I see the Bears winning a close game against an improved Jaguars team.
Week 7: at Green Bay Packers Thurs., Oct. 20 at 7:25 p.m.
Don’t think Green Bay has forgotten about Thanksgiving. They will be out for revenge.
Week 8: Minnesota Vikings Mon., Oct. 31 at 7:30 p.m.
The Vikings seem to be a team on the rise. The Bears are as well, but they are not quite on the level of the Vikings yet.
Here is how the rest of the season plays out after their week 9 bye week:
Bears Wins: Tennessee Titans, Tampa Bay, San Francisco 49ers, Washington Redskins.
Bears Losses: New York Giants, at Detroit Lions, Green Bay Packers, Minnesota Vikings.
Final Record 8-8