Chicago Bears: The Team To Beat In The NFC North

Two days ago Jerod wrote his six bold predictions for this year’s NFL season. In that article he predicted the Chicago Bears’ offense would lead the Bears to a NFC North title.

Jerod brought up two very good points that people, specifically arrogant Packers fans, have seemed to forget about the Bears that I would like to expound on.

Point #1: The Bears’ Underrated Offense

As Jerod noted, before Jay Cutler and Matt Forte were sidelined by injuries last year, the Bears were the hottest team in the league. They won five games in a row, and they scored 30 points five times in 10 total games the two played together.

Cutler, while not perfect, vastly improved his consistency and managed to keep his interceptions at a low seven while throwing 13 touchdowns without a strong number one receiver. The O-line vastly improved their QB protection, and Forte was on pace for his third 1,000+ yard rushing season.

Cutler had a lot to smile about this offseason with the acquisition of Brandon Marshall.

The Bears were on their way to a playoff spot. They were playing the best football I’ve seen them play since their defense led them to the Super Bowl in 2004. If it was not for the injuries, the Bears maybe would’ve been the sleeper pick in last season’s playoffs.

In what feels like the first time in many years, the Bears have only gotten better this offseason by getting rid of dead weight and bad management. The biggest question remains their pass defense, which hasn’t particularly played well in recent seasons, nor in this preseason. Despite that, overall, this is the most well-rounded football team Chicago has had in the past decade.

Forte is healthy, Cutler is healthy, and Brandon Marshall has looked extremely good this preseason. The Bears finally have balance and weapons on offense, which management has been trying to establish ever since deciding to remake the Bears into an offensive threat.

Point #2: Chicago’s Balance and Stability

Most importantly, the Bears have the most balanced and stable team in the division.

The Packers still have the best QB in the league (it pains me to write that), but their below average defense and running game put them in a very uncomfortable position. Green Bay needed to score 30+ points to win way too many times last season, and though Rodgers did a phenomenal job doing just that, I wouldn’t rely on that happening again this year, even with two of the four teams having below average defenses.

Detroit has talent, but their offseason has been riddled with arrests. Add that to all of the incidents last season, and it’s obvious this team still remains immature and lacks the discipline it takes to truly be successful in the NFL. Along with that, their defense ranked in the bottom 10 in every defensive category last season, and I am not convinced Detroit has done enough this offseason to change that this year.

As for the Vikings? Well…yeah. Not really worth pondering. Not this season anyway.

It’s very obvious to see why I, along with most Bears fans, am so excited and genuinely optimistic for this season. We’ve been promised this kind of team ever since Jerry Angelo made it clear the Bears were reinventing their image.

There’s no better chance for Lovie and his team to prove all the doubters wrong.

About the Author

Tyler Juranovich

Tyler Juranovich is an Indiana native, a Ball State student, and a senior writer for MSF, where he's been writing about Chicago sports since 2009. His favorite teams are the Chicago Blackhawks and Bears. He's also a lover of reading, music, and movies. Follow him on Twitter (@tylerjuranovich) or email him at tyler.juranovich@gmail.com