The Chicago Bears will be better than most people expect.
Now that rosters are nearly set, and the draft is over, the game of prognostication has begun. Oddsmakers have the Chicago Bears as a fairly poor team.
Oddsmakers: Chicago Bears are in for a long year. Spreads were released for all NFL games from week 1-16. The Bears are favored in just two games
Many analysts hold the same beliefs.
The case can be made, however, the Bears will be better than most expect.
Competitive 2016 games
The Chicago Bears weren’t as bad as the 3-13 record may indicate. First and foremost, six of the thirteen losses were by less than a touchdown. Additionally, the Bears held the lead in a four of those games. Against the Colts, Jaguars, and Lions, the Bears gave up the go-ahead score with less than four minutes to go in the game. Additionally, they led the Giants at halftime.
Also, do not forget the atrocious game against Tennessee. The receivers had approximately 39 drops, and Josh Bellamy lowered his Madden catching attribute to a single digit number when he gave away the go-ahead touchdown with absolutely no defense or pressure.
Furthermore, do not forget about the vomit-inducing Week 15 game against Green Bay. That’s the game when Crevon LeBlanc must have thought he had help from a free safety, and could only chase receivers at 90-degree angles.
Other than the Giants game where the Bears fell flat after halftime, and the possibility of losing in overtime to the Packers, those are four games that should have been wins. That alone would have put the Chicago Bears at 7-9, but coupled with the injuries last year, it could have been better.
The Chicago Bears were absolutely plagued by injuries last year. They had 19 different players go on IR, and several were stars or key contributors.
After starting the year with an uneventful injury report, the Bears upped the ante in week three of the 2016 season. The Philadelphia loss in week two left the Bears’ with battered morale and health. Lamarr Houston’s year was done. Danny Trevathan was down for two games. Eddie Goldman missed nearly half the season due to a sprained ankle. Jay Cutler missed the next five games. Rookie Deiondre’ Hall was out for six games.
Nearly nobody on the roster was healthy. Most of the guys who started were also on the injury report a few times.
When first round pick Kevin White fractured his fibula after just a few promising games, it was clear the team was cursed.
Every NFL team has bumps, bruises, and injuries, but the Chicago Bears had far more than their fair share. The Bears had the most players in the NFL go on the IR last year, and it was to more significant players than comparable teams. It’s one thing to lose special teams contributors, but when so many starters are lost, so, too, is the season.
Unless lightning strikes twice, and the Chicago Bears suffer an insurmountable combination of bad luck and injuries, look for the team to be a surprise in 2017.