In the 2010 season, the Chicago Bears were the NFC North division champs playing in the NFC Conference title game against their division rivals, the Green Bay Packers. The Bears were favored to win that game, especially going up against the Pack, who barely made the playoffs as a Wild Card. But quarterback Jay Cutler, got injured, but it wasnt quite apparent that he was injured or at least injured seriously. Long story short, the Bears lost by a lone TD, and Cutler was vilified for the entire off season. Fast forward to last season. The Bears were clicking on some cylinders: Matt Forte ran extremely well and was a pass catching threat for the Bears, but he got hurt and missed a good part of the season. Backup Marion Barber couldn’t fill Forte’s cleats and made mistakes that a rookie would make causing the Bears to go 8-8 and miss the playoffs. On top of that, they lost their top passing target, TE Greg Olson, and Cutler had no receiver that he can fully count on. This off season, the Bears acquired Cutler’s old friend from Denver, automatically making him the best receiver that Chicago has had since Willie Gault. But will his presence be the boost that the Bears need? Maybe, but keep in mind, Forte is not only coming off of an injury, he is also disgruntled with his contract negotiations. They did bring in Michael Bush, who’s coming off of his best year as a Raider, but his career has been up and down, mostly down. Also, the Bears defense, led by Brian Urlacher and Julius Peppers, is getting a bit long in the tooth. These will all be factors when the upcoming season commences. Here is more on the 2012 Chicago Bears.
Fantasy Football Studs: Jay Cutler has burned me in the past. Really, really burned me. But it hasn’t all been his fault. Since coming to Chi town, he has been consistently planted in the Soldier Field turf, do to the ineptness of the his offensive line. He also hasn’t had a true go-to receiver. But, that may all come to an end with the arrival of Brandon Marshall. Both Cutler and Marshall had their best statistical years playing with each other in Denver. They both givee each other a boost. Marshall has been just as consistent as any receiver in the league with 90 plus catches year after year. And Cutler has one of the strongest arms in NFL history. They are both Fantasy Studs.
Area of Strength: The presence of Marshall will allow Cutler to stretch the field and find other receivers who will no doubt get open because of double teams on Marshall. WRs like Devin Hester, Earl Bennett, and Johnny Knox will be productive making the Bears passing game the strength of the team for the first time since Cutler’s arrival. And speaking of Hester, he is still a dangerous return guy. Teams will still try to kick away from him for fear that he will return one back, which he is capable of doing every time he touches the ball.
Area of Weakness: The running game for the Bears is very unstable, making it a definite weakness for the team. Even with the contract dispute, Forte is still coming off of an injury, so its hard to say how effective he will be. He was a good back, and he was dangerous pass catcher coming out of the backfield. It was a good move bringing in Michael Bush, and if Forte was fully healthy, they would make a nice ONE TWO punch, but that remains to be seen. Bush is a definite upgrade from Marion Barber, whose best years were behind him. It was a smart move for him to retire.
2012 Marquee Matchups: The Bears’ schedule this season isn’t so tough. Aside from the divison games, they face Dallas Week 4. Cam Newton will challenge the Def Week 8. They also make a trip to San Fran Week 11. Not too crazy…
All Things Chicago Bears: There are a few ways to keep up with the Bears in 2012. Here are a few…
Apps: Chicago Bears Official App for iPhone (by YinzCam/Chicago Bears)
Fan Clubs: The Official Bears fan club can be found on www.chicagobears.com under fan zone.