Thanks to the fine folks that work on the individual SB Nation NFL team sites, we have the ability to get the inside scoop on each and every team that the Chicago Bears will face this season.
In this offseason series, we'll lay out a few stats on Chicago's 2016 opponents and have the team sites give us all the info we need to be up to speed on any changes they may have made.
Week 5 - Chicago Bears at Indianapolis Colts
October, 9 2016 - 12:00 CT on FOX
Games from week 5-17 are subject to flex scheduling
Last year the Bears' offense ranked 21st in total yards (344.6), 23rd in passing yards (228.8), 11th in rushing yards (115.9) and 23rd in total points scored (20.9). Defensively the Bears ranked 14th in total yards allowed (345.4), 4th in passing yards allowed (224.6), 22nd in rushing yards allowed (120.9) and 20th in points allowed (24.8).
In 2015 the Colts' offense ranked 28th in total yards (321.4), 22nd in passing yards (231.5), 29th in rushing yards (89.9) and in scoring they were 24th (20.8). Indy’s defense ranked 26th in total yards allowed (379.1), 24th in passing yards allowed (257.1), 25th in rushing yards allowed (122.0) and they were 25th in points allowed (25.5).
Colts 2016 Season Preview
From Stampede Blue
Notable free agent additions: Patrick Robinson (CB), Scott Tolzien (QB), Robert Turbin (RB), Jordan Todman (RB)
Notable free agent departures: Jerrell Freeman (LB), Coby Fleener (TE), Dwight Lowery (S), Greg Toler (CB)
Draft picks expected to contribute as rookies:
Ryan Kelly, center (first round pick) - He’s the starter from day one, without a doubt.
T.J. Green, safety (second round) - He’ll make the roster as a backup safety and special teams contributor.
Le’Raven Clark, tackle (third round) - He’s expected to provide depth.
Hassan Ridgeway, defensive line (fourth round) - He could factor into the defensive line rotation as a pass rush threat.
Antonio Morrison, inside linebacker (fourth round) - He will compete for playing time at the open inside linebacker spot.
Joe Haeg, offensive lineman (fifth round) - He’ll provide depth along the line, whether at guard or tackle.
Trevor Bates, outside linebacker (seventh round) - He will try to show something (anything) that suggests he can be a developmental pass rusher for the Colts, which they’re desperately looking for.
Austin Blythe, center (seventh round) - He’s expected to back up Ryan Kelly at center.
Biggest offseason addition: Ryan Kelly, center
Biggest storyline heading into training camp: The offensive line competition. A lot has been made about the Colts’ offensive line this offseason, and that was their biggest area of emphasis. They brought in Joe Philbin to coach the unit and then spent four of eight draft picks on their line. The left side - with Anthony Castonzo at left tackle, Jack Mewhort at left guard, and Ryan Kelly at center - looks good, but the right side is still a question mark. Joe Reitz is the current favorite at right tackle, though he’s still not guaranteed the job, while the right guard position is even more wide open. The offensive line competition has been a focal point all offseason and likely will continue to be in training camp.
Under-the-radar storyline heading into training camp: The injuries to the defensive line. While the inside linebacker competition is worth noting as well, I think the health of the defensive line is one of the biggest storylines for the Colts this year. The unit has the potential to be one of the deepest and best positions on the team, but a lot of that depends on when players get healthy and whether they can stay that way. Henry Anderson was tremendous as a rookie last year and already emerged as one of the team’s best defensive players, but he tore his ACL midway through the season. It’s uncertain whether he’ll be back for week one, while Arthur Jones is also recovering from an injury that caused him to miss the entire 2015 season. If Anderson comes back healthy, the defensive line should be a good group when considering guys like Kendall Langford, David Parry, Zach Kerr, T.Y. McGill, and Hassan Ridgeway, and Jones coming back healthy would be even more of a boost. The key, again, is health.
Notable injuries heading into training camp: defensive lineman Henry Anderson (knee), defensive lineman Arthur Jones (ankle), wide receiver Donte Moncrief (foot), guard Hugh Thornton (undisclosed), cornerback D’Joun Smith (knee).