When the schedule first came out, I took some grief from some of my die-hard readers, saying that I flaked out on my 2009 season prediction. Maybe I had overdosed on Jay CutlerKool Aide with my tongue in cheek 16-0 prediction for the season. I promised that I would take a real look at the schedule and offer real prognosis for the season. Since Lovie Smith breaks the season down into quarters, I will too. Here’s my first quarter outlook:
Sept. 13 at Green Bay, 7:20 p.m., NBC
The start of a new era in Chicago Bears football will be on display for a national audience. I think this one will be a shootout thanks to Cutler for the Bears and the banged up secondary. Matt Forte will find some running lanes and gives the Bears a slight edge. Bears 27-24. W
Sept. 20 PITTSBURGH, 3:15 p.m., CBS
The defending champs boast a killer defense and an offense that just gets it done.Cutler will be under tons of pressure and the home fans go home disappointed. Steelers 16-14. L
Sept. 27 at Seattle, 3:05 p.m., FOX
The Seahawks expect to bounce back after a disappointing 2008, but Cutler and Forte prove too much for the Seattle defense. Bears 31-23. W
Oct. 4 DETROIT, noon, FOX
The Lions were historically bad in 2oo8; like 0-16 bad. If they can win a couple of games, the season will be a success. Don’t count on it this week. Bears 37-17. Big W
So I project the Bears to wind up the first quarter 3-1. It’s a nice start and a softer portion of the schedule ahead.
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