Ten Questions Facing the Chicago Bears in 2015

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Dec 15, 2014; Chicago, IL, USA; New Orleans Saints inside linebacker David Hawthorne (57) and New Orleans Saints inside linebacker Ramon Humber (53) sack Chicago Bears quarterback Jay Cutler (6) in the first half of their game at Soldier Field. Mandatory Credit: Matt Marton-USA TODAY Sports

Will the Bears make the playoffs in 2015?

I want to say yes, but no, they won’t. That hurts for a die-hard fan to say, but I’d like to be honest in this post, and looking at their schedule, I don’t see how it’s possible that the Bears hit 10 wins.

The Bears have been to the playoffs once (2010) since losing the Super Bowl following the 2006 season. They were close in other years – 2008, 2012, 2013 – but going to the dance isn’t the same thing as getting out on the floor. We saw the 2008 team fall in the final week of the season to Houston, costing themselves a spot. We saw the 2011 team fall apart after Cutler and Forte got hurt. We saw the team fall short in 2012 and 2013. We’re frustrated and impatient.

Dec 28, 2014; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Minnesota Vikings quarterback Teddy Bridgewater (5) throws in the first quarter against the Chicago Bears at TCF Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports

Well, I expect that to continue in 2015. All three teams in the NFC North seem better than the Bears. The Vikings have an improving defense, a rising rookie quarterback in Teddy Bridgewater with a shiny new deep threat in Mike Wallace and the return of Adrian Peterson.

The Lions defense may take a step back after losing Ndamukong Suh and they have no proven feature back, but they still have Matthew Stafford, Calvin Johnson and Golden Tate for a rugged passing game. And we don’t need to discuss Green Bay. I’ll give them a win each against Detroit and Minnesota. That’s 2-4 in the division.

The Bears play the AFC and NFC West divisions this year and Washington and Tampa Bay. I’ll give them wins against the Redskins and the Bucs. They have road games in Seattle, Kansas City, San Diego and St. Louis. I’ll give them one win somewhere in that mix. They won’t beat Seattle, but maybe they can squeak out a win at Kansas City or San Diego. That’s 5-7.

They get Arizona, Oakland, Denver and San Francisco at home. They’ll beat Oakland and San Francisco, and maybe they get lucky and Carson Palmer struggles this year for Arizona or Denver’s offense falls apart as Peyton Manning ages. But I’m not counting on it.

That amounts to 7-9, and another top 16 draft pick.

I hope I’m wrong.

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