Tag Archives: Chicago Bears

2012 Preview: Chicago Bears

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. Continue reading

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Sunday in the Skybox: NFC North

The NFC North consists of the Chicago Bears, Detroit Lions, Green Bay Packers, and Minnesota Vikings.  Last season, the Packers were the odds on favorite to repeat as the Super Bowl champs, the Vikings put their hopes in Donavan McNabb as their QB, the Bears were the reigning division champs, and the Lions were just looking for a seat at the table desperate not to be last in the division.  Green Bay went 15-1, but failed to return to the Super Bowl after fielding one of the leagues worst defenses, the Bears  failed to make the playoffs after a mediocre 8-8, Minnesota struggled to go 3-13, benching McNabb and promoting rookie QB Christian Ponder as the starter, and Detroit made it’s first playoff appearance since Barry Sanders was running the pill.  In the upcoming season, i really don’t anticipate it being any different in the outcome.  The Pack made some necessary improvements on defense, and even though the Lions have had a tumultuous off-season with many arrests and unrest in the locker room, they still will make the playoffs, barring any major injury.  Chicago should improve, especially with the acquisition of Brandon Marshall,which finally gives Jay Cutler a target that he can rely on, but they still have a ways to go to get back to the playoffs.  The Vikes, however, will continue to struggle.  It’s hard to say if Adrian Peterson will return to elite status after a crushing ACL injury last season.  There are a lot of unanswered questions about the NFC North.

Division Superstars: This division is stacked with Superstars!  Superbowl winning QB Aaron Rodgers of the Green Bay Packers and Probowl RB Adrian Peterson of the Vikings have been wonders for fans and fantasy footballers.  Monster LBs: Clay Matthews of the Packers, Jared Allen of the Vikings, Ndomk Suh of the Lions all wreak havoc in this divison.  Let’s not forget about rockstar return man Devin Hester of the Chicago Bears.  Speaking of WR, Calvin “Megatron” Johnson holds down this division in Detroit.

Bad Blood in this Divison:   Ok, does everyone remember the game on Thanksgiving last season when the Packers played the Lions?  Do you remember the Stomp Heard Around the League?  It was brutal, just in case you forgot.  The game, itself was very competitive.  It was nice to see that the Lions play like actual lions instead of years of gobbling like a turkey on Thanksgiving.  There is definite bad blood between the two teams, but I really don’t think it stems solely from the Stomp.  The Lions are a really good team with great weapons on offense and a very good defense.  They are a challenge to the Pack for the division title.  There’s your bad blood right there.

Ranking Last Season: Green Bay Packers (15-1); Detroit Lions (10-6); Chicago Bears (8-8); and Minnesota Vikings (3-13)

2012 Divison Showdowns:  Week Two, Bears at Packers, Week Four, Vikings at Lions, Week Seven, Monday Night, Lions at Bears, Week Ten, Lions at Vikings, Week Eleven, Packers at Lions, Week Twelve, Viking at Bears, Week Thirteen, Viking at Packers, Week Fourteen, Lions at Packers and Bears at Vikings, Week Fifteen, Packers at Bears, Week Seventeen, Packers at Vikings and Bears at Lions


Da Bears

 How many Fantasy Football hearts has Jay Cutler broken since becoming a Chicago Bear?  I’m raising my hand as one.  I drafted Cutler in his last year in Denver, and he quickly became my every week starter.  He had that big arm, dishing passes out to Marshall, Royal, and Schefler with ease.  Now that he’s in the Chi, he still has the big arm, but no offensive line and no decent receivers to pass the ball.  I drafted him again in his 1st year as a Bear, but I quickly dropped him by Week 3.  Cutler did complete passes…to the OTHER team.  He also became ONE with the turf.  Last year, there was a little improvement.  In fact, he did lead his team to the NFC Championship (which they lost with him “injured” on the sideline).  In 2010, he managed over 3200 passing yards and 24 total TDs.  He also cut down on his completions  to the other team.  Cutler still finished the season with a total of 16 INTs and 6 lost fumbles.  His protection was only slightly better, so his fondness of the turf deceased a bit.  This year, expect more of the same.  The Bears drafted a big OT Gabe Carimi, who measures 6’7″, 314lbs, so that could help.  However, that’s the only O Lineman drafted.  Additionally, there were no other offensive weapons for Cutler.  With the lockout still hovering over the league, who knows if the Bears will address those needs.  If you draft Cutler you’ve been warned. 

Chicago is another one of those teams that have fans biting their nails on Sunday, as they do not easily put points on the board.  One of the main reasons?: That O line!  Anytime your QB eats grass 58 times in one season, forget about fantasy football players lighting it up.  I can’t even count how many times I have hawked stat tracker waiting for the next time Matt Forte will be on the field…The Bears hardly keep the ball.  Matt Forte is a RB I personally have experience with on my fantasy roster.  While last year was his best year, he is still not my go to starter every week.  It really depends on who the Bears are playing. If their opponent has awesome linebackers, Forte is on my bench.  Problem with the Bears is, if they get down early, they cannot run the ball.  They rely on Cutler (sigh).  Last year,  this amazing  tandem of Matt Forte and Chester Taylor was really Forte on his own.  Last year Forte rushed for slightly over 1000 yards and 9 TDs, while Chester Taylor had 267 rushing yards and 3 TDs. 

I’m not at all impressed with the set of receivers in the Windy City.  Not one of them scares any defensive secondaries.  No Chicago Bear receiver had over 1000 yards last year.  No Chicago Bear receiver had more than 5 TDs last year.  See what I’m saying.  Not impressive at all.  Johnny Knox “emerged” as the go-to receiver last year for Cutler.  Knox was the top receiver with 960 receiving yards and 5 TDs.  He could improve on his numbers this year, but don’t waste a draft pick on him.  Earl Bennett was looked upon as someone who could become a favorite option for Cutler because of their history as teammates at Vanderbilt.  So far that well has been dry.  There was big buzz last year about Devin Aromashodu being a Fantasy sleeper.  However, he only had 149 yards and 0 TDs in 14 games.  I do believe that Devin Hester can ONE day be a good WR.  He is no doubt a dangerous return guy and he can bring that same speed and elusiveness as a wideout.  But he still not a viable Fantasy option as a WR.  Last year he had 475 receiving yards and 4 TDs on 41 receptions.  He maybe worth taking a chance on, but only because he’s a deadly return guy. I personally think the only pass catcher worth drafting is TE Greg Olson. He has, for the last two years, been the first option for Cutler, especially in the red zone.  He’s a big  target and the only reason he is not a Top Five TE is become he’s been in Chicago.  He has been in the top 5 for the last two seasons in targets.  This year, Cutler will continue to rely heavily on him.

Defense wins games, and so the Chicago Bears had a successful 2010-11 season.  Their defense had 34 sacks (mostly by Peppers and Idonjie with 8 each).  Not bad for those leagues that give you points for sacks (mine do)!  The most notable key area of opportunity for the Bears defense is scoring!  While last season they had 21 Ints, this defense rarely gets in the end zone.  Not really a plus for Fantasy Football scoring…

We all know and love that electric return guy DEVIN HESTER (gotta respect the man, he did play for the U after all)!  However, teams know and respect the return monster Hester is too!  Only a few dare devils kick the ball to him… so he doesn’t return ’em like he used to.  What the Bears always get in return is OUTSTANDING field position.  It’s actually funny to watch: Hester just stands back there when it’s time to punt and POOF, the Bears offense starts beyond the 20 yard line.  Talk about “Game Recognize Game”! Another element that’s awesome for the Bears and their fans, but not so much for Fantasy Football owners.

Up next, we are taking it to B’MORE and it’s alllllllll about the Ravens!


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