NFL Preview: Will Da Bears Roar or Hibernate this NFL Season?

How long has it been since the Chicago Bears were a good football team? Has it been that long? Are the first names you think of when you hear the words Chicago Bears William “Refrigerator” Perry, Jim McMahon, Mike Ditka, and Walter Payton?

Chicago Bears 2017 Preview

If you answered yes to that question, it’s obvious that the Bears are in need of a serious makeover. Chicago did make it to the Super Bowl in 2006. We don’t have to go back 31 years later for Chicago’s last important accomplishment. But, 2006 is 11 years ago. Since then, the Bears have treaded water like that frustrated grizzly that can’t get his paws on those luscious salmon heads. It’s been all minnows and goldfish for these Chicago Bears.

There is a big sign that things could turn around in the 2017-2018 NFL Season. I discuss that all-important sign first before diving into Chicago’s real chances of making waves in the NFC North, and shocking the world with a trip to Super Bowl 52. So let’s get into my Chicago Bears 2017 preview.

What’s the Great Sign for the Chicago Bears?

The great sign for the Chicago Bears is that Coach John Fox is in his third year as the head guy in the Windy City. Fox’s teams usually excel in year three. Sometimes, Fox works his magic earlier than year 3. When he was with Carolina, Fox took the Panthers to the Super Bowl in his second season as head coach. That was 2003. The Panthers were up in 2004. They were down in 2005.

Then, in 2006, Carolina went 8-8. In 2007, the Panthers went 7 and 9. The very next season, Fox coached the Carolina Panthers to a 12 and 4 record. Carolina lost to the Arizona Cardinals in the NFC Divisional Playoffs.

When Fox went to Denver, expectations were high right off the bat. But, Fox took a couple of seasons to get the team together enough for a run to the Super Bowl. We all know what happened in that Super Bowl. Seattle routed the Broncos 43 to 8.

Don’t get me wrong. I’m not saying that John Fox leads the Chicago Bears to the Super Bowl. I don’t think he even gets Chicago to the NFC Playoffs this season. But, I am saying that Fox’s teams usually improve season to season.

In his first season with Chicago, the Bears went 6 and 10. Last season, the Bears went 3 and 13. They figure to at least get back to 6 and 10 this season. But, who knows? Maybe, the John Fox magic gets the Bears to 7 and 9, or even 8 and 8.

The third year’s the charm when John Fox is your man!

Should Chicago Bears Fans Expect Better QB Play?

Yes. Moving on.

Okay, I’ll elaborate. John Fox convinced Adam Gase to become his offensive coordinator when he took the head coaching job at Chicago. Gase turned Jay Cutler into a decent starting quarterback in the NFL.

Under Gase’s tutelage, Cutler completed over 64% of his passes. He threw 21 TDs to only 11 interceptions. His QB rating was 92.3. Gase was so magnificent at turning Cutler into a real starting quarterback in the pro football league that Miami offered Gase their head coaching job after the 2015-2016 NFL Season.

Without Gase, Cutler imploded. He was god awful in 2016. He was so bad that Fox and the Bears’ front office unloaded him before the end of the NFL Regular Season. They didn’t even wait to give Cutler his walking papers.

The Bears went with Matt Barkley, who is no longer in Chicago. They cut Barkley after the season ended. That’s how bad quarterback play was for the Chicago Bears in the 2016-2017 NFL Season.

Fox isn’t an idiot. He’s one of the smartest coaches in the NFL. He had a plan right away. The plan was to sign a decent quarterback to keep the seat warm for a rookie QB that Fox could mold ala Jake Delhomme in Carolina for 2 to 3 years.

The quarterback keeping the seat warm turned out to be Tampa Bay back-up Mike Glennon. While with the Buccaneers Glennon showed signs of being a decent quarterback. There was no way he was getting his shot in Tampa. Jameis Winston had the starting gig locked up for what Buccaneer fans hope is a decade.

But, in Chicago Glennon should get his shot. Fox didn’t stop with Mike Glennon, though. He knows that not all backup quarterbacks that show promise are ready to win as starters. I like to call it the Brock Osweiler Effect. Brock looked fantastic filling in for Peyton in Denver’s Super Bowl winning season.

Once Brock got the keys to Houston’s offense, he went into a destructive, unfathomable shell. Brock is trying to revive his career with the Cleveland Browns this season.

Glennon might be Brock Osweiler. He also might be Rich Gannon, or Jake Delhomme. Gannon and Delhomme were back-up quarterbacks that ended winning a ton of games as starters.

Fox doesn’t know. That’s why I believe he was on board with Da Bears moving up to draft QB Mitch Trubisky. Trubisky has the skills to be a great starter in the NFL. If Glennon doesn’t pan out (it’s probably 30% he does, 70% he doesn’t), Fox just turns to Trubisky.

Chicago Bears 2017 Preview 2017-2018 Schedule

I wrote above that I believe the Bears can win 6 to 8 games this season. First, let’s take a look at Chicago’s road games. On September 17, the Bears battle the Tampa Bay Bucs on the road. Mike Glennon gets to see a few of his good friends while likely playing as Chicago’s starting quarterback.

Two weeks later, the Bears take on Green Bay at Lambeau. Two weeks after that, it’s the Ravens in Baltimore. Then, they battle the Saints in New Orleans. After their bye, Chicago has 4 road games, none of wich are particularly easy:  Philadelphia on Nov. 26, Cincinnati on Dec. 10, Detroit on Dec. 16, Minnesota on Dec. 31.

There’s a chance Chicago enters their bye at 0 and 8. They could seriously lose every single game from Week 1 to Week 8. I mean, they battle Atlanta at home in Week 1. In Week 3, they take on Pittsburgh at home.

I believe the Bears can upset Pittsburgh at home on Sept. 24. That’s a win. They should also beat Minnesota at home on Oct. 9. That’s another win. They should definitely beat Carolina at home on Oct. 22. That’s 3 wins.  The fourth win should come in Week 2 when Da Bears play Tampa Bay on the road.

I think Chicago goes 4-4 before their bye. Also, I see the Bears winning 3 games after their bye. I believe they beat San Francisco at home on Dec. 3. I believe they beat Cleveland at home on Christmas Eve, Dec. 24. The final win should either be an upset victory over Philadelphia on the road on Nov. 26, or an upset win over Cincinnati on the road on Dec. 10.

Chicago also has a shot to get the seventh win by beating Detroit at home on Nov. 19. That’s 7 wins for a 7 and 9 record.

Chicago Bears Super Bowl 52 Odds

The Chicago Bears are at +10000 to win Super Bowl 52. There are a couple of ways to look at those odds. The first way to look at those odds is to say the Bears have an okay defense, the quarterback position should be more stable in 2017, and John Fox heads to his third season with the team.

That’s the glass have full version. 10,000 to 1 odds on any team to win any championship when the glass is half full constitutes better than fair odds.

The other way to look at Chicago’s odds to win Super Bowl 52 is the glass half empty version. With the glass half empty version, it makes no sense to put any money on the Chicago Bears no matter the odds. The Bears could go 0 and 8 before their bye in Week 9. They could win only 3 games this season.

Why would anyone bet on Chicago to win Super Bowl 52?

My advice is this, if you’re a huge Chicago Bears fan, pull the trigger. John Fox led the Carolina Panthers to the Super Bowl after going 7 and 9 the season before. He’s got some magic. Who knows? He might bring the magic out this season.

If you’re not a Bears fan, forget it. Da Bears shouldn’t win more than 6 to 7 games.

What do you think?

Written by D.S. Williamson

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