To me, it seems like a silly question. The last time I had a look at Chicago's schedule, I had us down as finishing with an 11-5 record, but I could have easily given us one more win. But it seems that, despite what the Bears have done to strengthen the team, along with the weapons they already have, there are some analysts out there that think we come away with no more than nine wins. Take a look at the ESPN article here, and then hit the jump to hear some of my thoughts.
Jon Greenberg from ESPNChicago.com seems to be one of those analysts who can see us ending up with a 9-7 record. I disagree with his assumption that our schedule doesn't lend itself to us having double digit wins this year. I think it's relatively favorable, and could be a lot worse.
The only teams I saw us losing against were Houston, Detroit, Green Bay, San Fransisco and Dallas. I could have easily knocked the Cowboys off that list, but I feel they could give us a run for our money.
Of course, the beauty of the NFL is that there aren't really any major upsets these days. There are only a handful of games where you could confidently pick the winner. But predicting the results of games is fun, and if enough time is given to the task, one can come away feeling happy with their choices.
At the end of his argument, Greenberg reminds us that we were 7-3 before Cutler went down injured. And that the one great unknown is health Well, obviously. But surely we make this predictions assuming that each team is at full strength. My choices would probably change quite a bit if Cutler was injured right before the first game of the season. I think it would be fair to say that we might lose a few more than the five games I think we will.
To counter Greenberg, Melissa Isaacson is more optimistic, but conservatively estimates that the Bears will win between nine and 10 games.
Like we keep saying, the Bears have a great looking roster. On paper. Whether it all comes together is the big question, and if it doesn't, someones head has to roll. The Bears are primed for success this year. Even if we have to do it without Matt Forte. There, I said it!
I think the first four games of the season will be vital for us, and we need to win at least three of those. Those opponents are the Colts, Packers, Rams and Cowboys, and for the sake of being realistic and maintain a sense of unbiased journalism, I will predict that we lose to Green Bay in week two. Did I just commit WCG suicide? Say it ain't so. I have us winning the other one against them, which I think is fair.
If it's okay, I'll put my head on the block here, and say that I don't think the Vikings will be competing for the NFC North title this season. But I think it will be very tight between the Bears, the Lions and Green Bay. Looking at both of their schedules, it's easy to see them each having around 10-12 wins. Which is what I still believe the Bears are capable of as they look to make return to the playoffs.
As the season draws nearer, there will be a lot more discussion regarding how many wins the Bears get this year. But if we come away with anything less than 10, I just don't think that will be enough to get the job done.
So, hit the poll, and post your comments. Let us know what you think.