CHICAGO, IL - NOVEMBER 20: Jay Cutler #6 of the Chicago Bears leaps over blockers to score a touchdown against the San Diego Chargers at Soldier Field on November 20, 2011 in Chicago, Illinois. The Bears defeated the Chargers 31-20. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
Every year there's that one team that the experts seem to get behind. Some call it the trendy pick others call it the sexy pick, I prefer 'sexy', because it's, well... sexy. In 2012 the Chicago Bears may be that team. Comcast writer John "Moon" Mullin believes the Bears can bounce back to the playoffs after their 8-8 season, then again his could be considered a homer pick seeing as how he covers the Bears. But in his article he actually references an NFL.com piece that mentions the Bears.
Two of the five experts at NFL.com went with the Bears as being "next season's Giants", a team that missed the postseason only to win the Super Bowl the following year. The season finished so bad that some national guys forget that the Bears were 7-3 and playing very well at the time of the Jay Cutler injury. I read many publications that thought the Bears stood the best chance to knock off the defending champion Packers. But we all know how that ended...
Here's some of what Steve Wyche of NFL.com had to say:
If Jay Cutler stays healthy, I'm rolling with the Bears. Chicago was really gaining traction before Cutler got hurt, even with a serious lack of big-play receivers and issues on the back end of the defense.
With Phil Emery now in charge of football operations, I believe they'll take care of running back Matt Forte contractually and finally get Cutler some needed receiving threats.
And here's a snippet from their:
I think the Bears could have been in the Super Bowl this season if Jay Cutler didn't get injured. They finally put Cutler in the best position to win midway through the season and they went on a roll until he broke his thumb. The defense is still very good and can dominate as long as it's not asked to do too much. We talked a lot about how, being hurt, Peyton Manning was the real MVP, but how about the Bears without Cutler and their visit to Nosedive City?
What do you think Bears fans, with a new GM in place and a few coaching changes, are the Bears trending upward?