The Chicago Bears 2012 season is upon us! It’s about time!!! Let me start this post with a look back at my prediction for the Bears last season, just to let you know where I’m coming from. For you longtime readers, you know I love block quoting myself:
Boomer’s overall assessment (8-8)
I really hate that I’m such a glass half empty guy when it comes to the 2011 season. I think there are plenty of positives with the offense taking a step forward but with new rules hurting the Bears special teams, some contract dissension in the ranks and an aging defense that can’t possibly stay as healthy as they were last year, I just can’t see the Bears back to the playoffs. The season will be up and down and there will times when the Bears look invincible and times when they look like they won’t win another game. It’s never as good as it seems and it’s never as bad as it seems, but it will be interesting and fun and we’ll be there every step of the way.
Ding, ding ding!!! I hate it when I’m right in this case. The expectations for the 2012 version of the Chicago Bears are sky high. Where do I rank the Bears and what are my predictions for all 16 games? What about the rest of the Bear Goggles On team? Let’s take a look. Don’t forget to vote in our poll and make your picks at the end of the post.
Boomer’s Overall Assessment: 10-6
On paper, this is the most talented Chicago Bears team I can recall since the late 80′s. Unfortunately, they don’t play the games on paper. They play the games on the crappy green-painted dirt on the shores of Lake Michigan. There are still a lot of questions about a supposed Super Bowl contender.
As I go through the review, I have the Bears going 10-6 and making the playoffs, but I’m left wondering, “what can go wrong to keep this talented team from making the playoffs?” Injuries are the single-biggest factor between a Super Bowl contender and a team that is watching in January. The Bears have a head start on those, with Brian Urlacher and Gabe Carimi still nursing bum knees from last season. If the Bears can stay healthy, they’ve got to keep Jay Cutler in one piece. Yes, that means you J’Webb.
If the aging defense can hold it together for one more year while the offense begins to take center stage for the first time since we thrilled the nation with the T-formation, this team has a chance to be special. I expect a deep playoff run and nothing less will be a disappointing season.
Tooch’s Overall Assessment: 10-6
The Pro Bowl middle linebacker is injured, the offensive line is one of the worst in the league and the safety position is a revolving door. So why am I predicting a 10-6 season for the Bears? It’s simple — Jay Cutler. The Bears franchise has finally surrounded Cutler with the weapons that he has longed for and deserved. And this year he will take full advantage of them. Rookie Alshon Jeffery will be an impact player, Matt Forte will return to elite running back status and Brandon Marshall will be a Pro Bowler. As for the defense, well, it won’t be pretty. Brian Urlacher will struggle with injuries throughout the season, as will Julius Peppers. But timely turnovers and fantastic special teams will keep the Bears in games and give Cutler enough opportunities to show Chicago why the Bears invested so much in him three years ago — and most importantly why they will invest so much in him after this season.
Deez’s Overall Assessment: 11-5
This year we are going to see the most offensive Bears team Chicago has ever seen. Take that however you would like. Jay Cutler is finally going to get some respect around the NFL and surpass the 30 TD plateau for the first time in his career, throwing early and often to Marshall (90+ catches), Jeffery (70+), Bennett (70+) and Hester (50+) (Yes, even Hester is going to show that he is a capable receiver). The offensive line will struggle during the first quarter of the season but, barring injury, should begin to gel after the bye week. They’ll still have a few bumps along the way, however. The defense scares me. What used to just bend, may break more often than Bears fans are used to this year. Luckily, the offense should be able to hold up if the Bears need to put up some points. Look for great years from Peppers, Briggs and Jennings. In the end, I think the Bears are good enough to contend in the playoffs and could go as far as the NFC Championship Game.
Decon’s Overall Assessment: 12-4
The Bears are primed for a big season. I have them finishing at 12-4, but they will lose the division to the 13-3 Packers, who will promptly lose their first playoff game again. In my opinion, the Bears have the right mix of talent, attitude and desire. They also have a coach in Lovie Smith who will not let them get too high or too low and focus them on handling their business. I think the Bears will also send 8 players to the Pro Bowl in Cutler, Forte, Garza, Marshall, Urlacher, Briggs, Peppers and Tillman. I also have the season ending in New Orleans with a Bears victory over the Ravens in the Superbowl. Call me a homer…call me drunk on the blue and orange kool-aid…I just hope (and believe) you will also have to call me…RIGHT!!!
Jimmy’s Overall Assessment: 11-5
My assessment on the season: It feels like heading into every season we like to coin it as the biggest year in ages for the Bears. This year, though, there isn’t a better term to describe the 2012 season: high expectations. There isn’t much room for errors, as Lovie Smith is in a contract year, along with the longtime face of the franchise Brian Urlacher. I’m hoping for redemption after last year was cut short due to injuries on offense, but I’m predicting disappointment. Mark my words: One of the Bears’ “Big Four” defensive players will not make it through the whole year. Chicago will make a run to the playoffs, but will ultimately come up short due to the factors we all saw coming: Lack of protection by the offensive line and little depth on defense.
Bart’s Overall Assessment: 11-5
I don’t know about you, but I’m sick of watching some of these other random teams, i.e. Giants, win Superbowls. Every year there is some favorite, the Packers, the Eagles, the Ravens that are going to win it all. That is fine, because whenever a team like that is picked to win it all, they typically don’t. Secretly, I’m picking the Bears this year and I’ll announce it to Bear fans. However, I’m glad the national media is not behind them and has their doubts. I don’t think it’s necessary to point out the obvious, Beargoggle writers have been doing that the whole off-season. So, let’s cut to the chase: 11-5. That’s right: 11-5. Follow below to see how I came up with that magic number.
Keith’s Overall Assessment: 11-5
For the first time in my lifetime the Bears offense will be asked and counted on to win football games. Like the previous two seasons the offensive line will start off slow and then become average enough to protect Cutler and let the offensive points add up. The defense will have its moments and still get turnovers, but I’m pretty sure if all of us at home know how to beat the Cover 2 so does every offensive coordinator the Bears will face this year. This group could have one more good season in them for a late season push through the playoffs. Yes, I’m a homer in these picks but you can ask anyone that knows me when asked I’ve had the Bears in the Super Bowl the past decade, but it was usually against the Chargers!
Predicting All 16 Bears Games:
Week 1 vs Indianapolis Colts (Wins in BOLD)
Boomer: Andrew Luck and the Colts will be better than most people expect, but they’re not ready in Week 1. The Bears are tough in their home openers and will show off that new offense. Bears 34-24
Tooch: The Bears start off the year behind a strong performance from Matt Forte and minimal damage from rookie Andrew Luck. Bears 27-Colts 13
Deez: Luck hits jackpot with a TD on their opening drive, but the house always wins in the end. Bears 34-17
Decon: Mr. Luck, meet Mr. ‘Lach; Urlacher returns to properly welcome the rookie QB to the league. Bears 24 Colts 10
Jimmy: The perfect matchup for Lovie Smith’s football ideology: Be successful in the three aspects of football. The Bears’ offense, defense and special teams shine, as they wallop Andrew Luck in his first career NFL start: Bears 34, Colts 14
Bart: the spread is -9.5, but you can reference Bart’s Best later this week for more details on that. We’re catching the Colts at the right time. The Bears stayed awfully vanilla in the pre-season and Luck simply will not be ready for the different looks the Bears Defense throws at him during this game. It’s at Soldier Field, which helps, but even if it was in Indy, I don’t think that would matter either. W
Keith: Bears offense shows off in front of the home crowd, and the defense picks up Andrew Luck’s first career interception as the Bears win 37-14
Week 2 @ Green Bay Packers (Wins in BOLD)
Boomer: The Bears and Packers kick off the Thursday Night Football slate of games in Lambeau. Urlacher is sidelined with a sore knee after balling out against the Colts and Aaron Rodgers does the discount double check through the middle of the Bears defense all night long. Packers 37-31
Tooch: The offensive line won’t be able to hold off a revamped Packers defense up at Lambeau Field. Packers 31-Bears 17
Deez: Rodgers outguns Cutler in primetime as the Bears O-line crumbles like bad cheese. Packers 31-20
Decon: Quick turn for both teams as they meet on Thursday night and the Bears put the league on notice. Bears 23 Packers 21
Jimmy: Ah, yes. A prime-time divisional game against the Packers on NFL Network. However, the Packers get the best of the Bears at Lambeau Field. A terrible performance by the offensive line prevents Jay Cutler and company from getting a rhythm: Packers 28, Bears 10
Bart: this game will likely go as a loss in most people’s picks. However, I’m going to go with the surprise pick and select the beloved in this matchup against the Pack. The Bears do play well against the Packers and on a short week, there are a lot of variables that can impact the game. Let’s go back to Week 1. The Bears will win a relaxing one against the Colts while Green Bay will be in a knock down, drag out with San Fran. Week 1 takes a little too much out of the Pack and the Bears sneak out of Lambeau with a win that gets national media predicting an NFC North Division Race. W
Keith: An uncharacteristic shoot-out in the Bears vs Packers rivalry with a Devin Hester punt return as the difference shocking the Lambeau faithful in prime time. Bears 38-34
Week 3 vs St Louis Rams (Wins in BOLD)
Boomer: Jeff Fisher will eventually turn the Rams around, but they’re still a ways away from that. Bears in a laugher 28-13
Tooch: Devin Hester will overwhelm the Rams yet again and the defense will smother Sam Bradford and co. Bears 31-Rams 10
Deez: Marshall Law is imposed against an awful Rams team led by Sam Sadford. At least we will be entertained as the announcers try to pronounce the name of Rams’ tight end Michael Hoomanawanui. Bears 44-16
Decon: A long layoff to get ready for the Rams…seriously??? The Rams??? Beatdown!!! Bears 33 Rams 6
Jimmy: Excuse me, doctor, what would you recommend to cure the hangover of a rough loss courtesy of the green and gold? Hmmm…how about the Rams, does that work? Chicago returns home and the defense unleashes upon a bottom feeder NFC West team: Bears 27, Rams 7
Bart: Bears vs Rams – after a 10 day layoff, Bears come out rested and at home against an inferior team. Is this one of those bizarre ones that the Bears shouldn’t lose but do, um no. W
Keith: Bears with the long time off cruise to victory stopping the Rams offense with ease 30-10
Week 4 @ Dallas Cowboys (Wins in BOLD)
Boomer: The Bears head to big D for a big NFC showdown. The Cowboys are always a preseason Super Bowl favorite but fade into obscurity by season’s end. It’s still early enough in the season for the Cowboys to make a statement on national TV. Cowboys 29-23
Tooch: Dez Bryant should be suspended by then and the Bears will expose an overrated Cowboys team. Bears 20-Cowboys 17
Deez: Another primetime struggle for JWebb Nation, et al. Even Bears losses are bigger in Texas. Cowboys 35-9
Decon: Jerry World welcomes the Bears to town and the O-line can’t do enough to keep Demarcus Ware out of the backfield. Cowboys 24 Bears 13
Jimmy: The Bears return to Arlington where the last time they defeated America’s former team 27-20. Once again, this one goes down to the wire, but late mishap in coverage by Tim Jennings allows Miles Austin to score, giving Dallas the W: Cowboys 21, Bears 14
Bart: after a terrific 3-0 start to the season, the Bears go back to their old ways of losing in the limelight quelling Bear fans calls for an undefeated season. Lovie is still happy with their first quarter of the season. L