NFL Predictions: Chicago Bears, 2010
The Chicago Bears were one of 2009’s most disappointing teams. After trading their entire drafting future for quarterback Jay Cutler, the Bears saw their prized possession throw 26 interceptions. Can the gunslinger get his stuff under control and use his arm for good during the 2010 NFL season?
2009 Chicago Bears Recap
In 2009, things started off kind of well for the Chicago Bears. Although they lost the opener to Green Bay, they bounced back with 3 straight wins and all of a sudden were world-beaters by Week 5. But then the roof came off that glass house. The Bears lost to just about every worthwhile opponent they faced for the rest of the year. Outside of a shootout with the Minnesota Vikings in Week 16, the Bears couldn’t keep up with the more talented teams in the NFL, and their quarterback was largely to blame given his aforementioned 26 picks. That said, Cutler didn’t have very much help. The Bears didn’t have a thousand-yard rusher, a thousand-yard receiver or a 10-sack defensive lineman. They were straight up below board on just about every individual stat out there, and it showed whenever they came together as a team on Sundays. Five of the Bears six wins in 2009 were against some of the worst teams in the NFL, and it’s amazing they won as many of those as they did.
2010 Chicago Bears Offseason Transactions
The Bears had to do a little housecleaning this past offseason. The unofficial word is that head coach Lovie Smith had to get rid of much of his staff or risk losing his own job. Thus, Ron Turner was fired as the Bears offensive coordinator, as were several other assistant coaches. Running back Kevin Jones and defensive back Nathan Vasher were both released, and WR Vic Hall, RB Chester Taylor and S Josh Bullocks were acquired. Chicago’s third-round pick (their first of the draft) went to FS Major Wright. The Bears also released DE Alex Brown, and then replaced him with free agency’s most coveted player, defensive end Julius Peppers. The biggest move for the Bears this offseason, however, was the hiring of Mike Martz as the offensive coordinator. Martz may not have the cache of a Peppers, but he has had a hell of a lot more success at coaching offenses than Peppers has had at rushing quarterbacks, and that could come in handy when tutoring Jay Cutler.
2010 NFL Predictions: Chicago Bears
The Chicago Bears didn’t do much to improve themselves on the offensive end. Outside of bringing in RB Taylor, who amounts to little more than a backup right now, the Bears did nothing at all on offense. Defensively, the Bears might be able to hold their own. I have never been a huge fan of Brian Urlacher as a linebacker, but most people assure me that he’s better than whomever else would line up at that position in his place. And DT Tommy Harris might be back to being a dominant force in 2010 after he managed to get a little healthy towards the end of last season, when he registered 6.5 sacks for Chicago. Because of the defense, we believe that the Bears can reach the 8-win mark. That’s not what you want from a quarterback that you traded the future of your entire franchise for. However, I do believe we will see a much better offensive year for Cutler. Under Martz, Cutler will certainly top the 4,000-yard mark, and somebody on this team is going to rack up 1,000 yards in a single category. Not to mention, in Martz’s system, a lot off passes go 20 yards over the middle of the field, an area in which Cutler specializes. That will take advantage of TE Greg Olsen’s athletic prowess; therefore adding that third dimension that the Bears need so desperately to even stay in the thick of things during the 2010 NFL football season.