Kenny Zook: 10-6
The Bears are clearly (to me, at least) a much better team this year. The overall level of talent and proper fit to the scheme are outstanding. No, there are not a lot of established superstars, but the talent level is very high. On the other hand, this is also a very young team.
Between starters and those expected to get significant playing time, there are at least 10 players with a year or less of NFL experience, 33 of 53 have three years or less. On top of that, injuries continue to leave the team in a state of flux, going into the first game of the season with starters lost for the season or already playing through pain.
Over the course of the next 17 weeks, how many will be lost and how many will play at less than 100%? How many of the even less experienced backups will step up and outperform when they are called on? It is impossible to predict that. So, I have to go with what will satisfy me, rather than what I expect (8 wins) or what I hope (12 wins). I feel completely safe in saying that the Bear’s win total for the 2016 season should fall somewhere between 4 and 14.
Next: Wild Bill