The expectations for the Bears are at Wannstedt-level lows, but there are several reasons to think that they’re going to be better than almost everyone is predicting.
The common predictions for the Bears are ranging everywhere from 4-12 to 8-8. Not crazy when you consider they went 5-11 last year, but to describe them merely as a team that had that record last year is missing so much of the picture. As awful as they were just a short time ago, the Bears have some stuff going for them and that stuff might just be enough to get them into the playoffs in 2015. Here are five reasons why the Bears are going to be better than you think.
#5. THEY CAN COMPETE IN THE NFC NORTH.
There has been a general assumption that the NFC North is a great division, but both Detroit and Minnesota have major weaknesses that could be their downfall.
The Packers are clearly a level above the rest of the three, but even they could have a down year. It isn’t often that teams lose in the playoffs the way they lost and don’t have it linger into the next season. Add in the fact that the Packers went through 2014 without any major injuries, finishing the year with all 22 offensive and defensive starters, and you have to figure that won’t happen again.
The Vikings are the trendy pick to compete with Green Bay. Their defense is going to be great and I’m going to believe Adrian Peterson is the best back in football until proven otherwise. But they still have the worst quarterback in the division by a wide margin in
Alex Smith Teddy Bridgewater and question marks on their offensive line. As great as Peterson is, they didn’t miss him a lot last year with his replacements combining for 1,108 yards and nine touchdowns in 15 games. Not quite AP numbers, but not bad either.
The Lions won 11 games last year based on the strength of their defense and they lost their best defensive player. Ndamukong Suh is a rare defensive player who makes the other 10 guys better. Offensively, their running game is weak and Matthew Stafford might be the most inaccurate quarterbacks in the league. As bad as Cutler might have been last year, Stafford was worse.