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2014 NFL Season predictions: Chicago Bears

NFL fans love it when pundits back their team... not so much when they don't.

Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports

It seems like year after year, the Chicago Bears are one of the toughest teams to predict. "Will this be the year that the team gets it together and makes a serious run?"  "Will this be the year Jay Cutler rises above and leads his team to the Promised Land?"

For 2014, we have to wonder... Will the defense get its gear together and not totally poop the bed?

Bill Barnwell, who is one of the best in the business, takes a look at some teams that he thinks might see a turn for the worse-- and Chicago is on that list.

While Trestman is an offensive-minded coach, the truth is that the Bears drafted poorly on defense for years and it finally began to stick in 2013.

Emery, a favorite around these parts, noticed his defense had been atrocious and decided to throw everything he had at fixing it. He used four of his first five draft picks on defenders, and while cornerback Kyle Fuller was his first selection, the more pressing arrival in 2014 might be the combination of defensive tackles Ego Ferguson and Will Sutton, who will give Chicago much-needed depth in the interior. If fourth-rounder Brock Vereen can supplant the dismal Conte in the secondary, that would only make things better.

Barnwell doesn't hedge any bets, although he says that best-case scenario is that the revamped defense is enough to help carry the Bears past the Packers in the North.

But worst-case scenario is that the older veteran players can't hold up their ends of the deal, and Cutler gets slayed by Julius Peppers.

That sounds scary... especially when we know it could happen.

Make sure to check out the full article HERE. There's some fun reading involved if you can get past that last little bit.