2010 NFL Team Odds, Preview, & Predictions – Chicago Bears
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Chicago Current Odds to Win:
Bears NFC North Odds – +450
Bears NFC Championship Lines – 12/1
Bears 2011 Super Bowl Futures – 25/1
Chicago Bears Season Over/Under Win Total – 8
Before the 2009 season Chicago was optimistic that its trade with Denver for Jay Cutler had finally filled its need for a strong arm quarterback that could move the ball down field. The season did not turn out as planned as Cutler led the league with 26 interceptions and the Bears record dipped to 7-9.
This past offseason Chicago hired former St. Louis head coach Mike Martz as its offensive coordinator in hopes that he will be able to get Cutler and its offense back on track. The jury is still out on how Martz and Cutler will coexist, but you would have to still view this as a step in the right direction.
You cannot pin all of the Bears offensive problems last season on Cutler as in reality they just were not that good. They finished the year ranked 23rd in total offense; 17th in passing yards per game and 29th in rushing yards.
Their top receiver was TE Greg Olson, who led the team with 60 receptions for 612 yards. As far as wide receivers, Devin Hester ended the year with 57 receptions for 757 yards and Earl Bennett had 54 catches for 717 yards.
The running game will still revolve around Matt Forte but they added Chester Taylor, who was formally with Minnesota, in an effort to improve upon a rather dismal performance in 2009. Forte led the team last year with 929 rushing yards while Taylor gained 338 yards backing up Adrian Peterson.
Chicago’s defense was ranked 17th last year, but that was without All Pro LB Brian Urlacher in the lineup. Urlacher went down in the first game of the year with a wrist injury which set the tone for the whole season. The Bears should be much improved in 2010 with not only having Urlacher back but by adding another All Pro; DE Julius Peppers.
Formally with Carolina, he signed with the Bears as an unrestricted free agent this past offseason.
The Bears also used the draft to try and address some of their problems on defense by taking S Major Wright in the third round, DE Corey Wootten in the fourth, and CB Joshua Moore in the fifth. While it is doubtful any of these players will make an immediate impact, they do add some much needed depth to this side of the ball.
In 2009, Chicago was 5-3 straight up at home but just 2-6 on the road.
The Bears did go 3-3 in the division including a win over the Vikings. Against the spread they were 6-9-1; 4-3-1 at home and 2-6 on the road.
With teams like Green Bay and Minnesota in its division, Chicago will be hard pressed to compete for the NFC North title.
With games against the Cowboys, Packers, and Giants in the first four weeks of the regular season, the Bears will know pretty quickly what kind of impact all of their offseason changes have made.
2010 Prediction: 3rd in the NFC North
Win Total: UNDER
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David Schwab is a regular contributor to the Cappers Picks Blog. While not cheering for his beloved Philadelphia Eagles David can be found working on his blog. David wants to hear from you so please comment below.