2010 NFL Preview: Chicago Bears
The AFC South teams are done, and the previews continue by going to the NFC North. To check out the AFC South teams, click on their links:
The NFC North begins Thursday with the Chicago Bears, followed by the Detroit Lions on Friday, then resumes Monday with the Green Bay Packers and then the Minnesota Vikings the next day.
The Chicago Bears have been in decline since their Super Bowl run in 2006, particularly on the offensive side of the ball. They made a huge splash last season by acquiring Jay Cutler from the Denver Broncos. It did not quite work out too well, as Cutler did not have too many weapons, and a defense that was hit with injuries resulted in a losing season, but 7-9 was pretty good with what the team had.
But now have a new offensive coordinator, a few key pieces added through free agency on the defensive side of the ball, and the Bears look to be a bigger player in the NFC North. Do they have what it takes to overtake Green Bay and Minnesota? We take a closer look at the Chicago Bears on TR!
- 2009 Record: 7-9 (3rd NFC North, missed playoffs)
- Key Additions: RB Chester Taylor (Minnesota Vikings), TE Brandon Manumaleuna (San Diego Chargers), DE Julius Peppers (Carolina Panthers), SS Chris Harris (Carolina Panthers)
- Key Departures: RB Kevin Jones (free agency), RB Adrian Peterson (free agency), LT Orlando Pace (free agency), DE Gaines Adams (death), DE Alex Brown (New Orleans Saints), DE Adewale Ogunleye (free agency), CB Nathan Vasher (San Diego Chargers)
Offense: Jay Cutler is hoping to have a better year in Chicago than his first year in which he threw for 3,666 yards and 27 touchdowns. Those numbers are not bad at all, but the numbers that were bad were the 26 interceptions and a QB rating of 76.8. However the only option that the Bears do have at QB is Cutler, and he is hoping to have a better season with new offensive coordinator Mike Martz. Martz has had success with quarterbacks (see Kurt Warner, Marc Bulger and Jon Kitna and briefly in San Francisco, J.T. O'Sullivan and Shaun Hill) and hopes to have the same type of success with Cutler. If Cutler was to go down, Chicago would have to turn to Caleb Hanie, Mike Teel, or Dan LeFevour.
Although Martz is in town may be good for Cutler, it may be bad for running back Matt Forte and the Bears running game, as the offense is a spread/passer friendly offense. Forte's yardage already fell from his 2008 totals (1238 yards to 929). He did not get too much relief either from Kevin Jones (injury) and Adrian Peterson (ineffectiveness). So the Bears brought in Chester Taylor, who did very well sharing the load with Adrian Peterson for the rival Minnesota Vikings. It will be interesting to see how much Martz uses the running game with the running backs. However if Forte struggles, Taylor will be the starter.Continued on the next page