Here at Windy City Gridiron we have a number of writers striving to bring you guys daily content about our beloved Chicago Bears. We tackle analysis, breaking news, Xs&Os, history, previews, fantasy and much more.
Today we’re pulling out our crystal balls (or metallic bean if you will) and giving our predictions for the 2016 Chicago Bears. I went with an 8-8 record, but with a break here or there I could see them sneaking into the playoffs with a winning record. I gave all my playoff picks for 2016 in this weeks Ten Thoughts on the NFL, so go peep those out.
Check out how the rest of our staff has the 2016 Chicago Bears ending up.
Jeff Berckes has them going 10-6 and making the playoffs as a Wildcard.
“Defense improves with professional linebackers and progression of Eddie Goldman into a budding star. Offense is above average with a motivated Alshon Jeffery and a trio of young running backs behind a better-than-expected offensive line. A seemingly soft schedule against two of the weaker divisions allows the Bears to sneak in to the playoffs as a 6 seed.”
Steven Schweickert has the Bears at .500 with a +/- of 1 game.
“The team will be improved, but while they'll have better defensive play, they're still a solid back-four piece and consistent productive offensive threat piece away from true playoff contention. They're... a team. A middling team that probably won't be embarrassing nor world beaters.”
EJ Snyder has the Bears with an 11-5 record.
“I put a stake in the ground and say the Bears win 11. I think the o-line gels quickly and gives protection we haven't seen in years. If they stay healthy along with the CB's I could see a chance for the big "2nd year John Fox jump" to come true.”
“Hoping McPhee returns like gangbusters after week 6 and really turns up the heat leading to a strong midseason win streak.”
“Predicted losses in games 1, 3, 6, 7 & 15.”
Also predicting an 8-8 record is Ken Mitchell.
“I could see us going 10-6 or 6-10, depending on health. We are very young and I see the Bears as a better team by the end of the year than they are to start it... but this can also be said of our young opponents, they will also improve throughout the year.”
“To me, the biggest question mark is if Kyle's shoulder will hold up to the pounding. We just don't know at this time. No matter who the center is (Whitehair will be the center going forward at some point in time) if Sitton and Long stay healthy, we should be able to run on anybody. I think the secondary is better than people give it credit for, and we do have depth in the front 7 especially after McPhee gets back.”
Josh Sunderbruch has them at 9-7, but missing the playoffs.
“This is an 8-8 team, but the schedule is soft and a lot of new blood helps things pop in a couple of places. As a result, I think the Bears go 9-7 and tease fans that they might make a playoff run, even though it's never really all that likely.”
Jack M Silverstein has them similarly at 9-7.
“Heartbreak. Miss the playoffs in Week 17 despite a win. All signs point to brilliance in 2017. The NBA has pace-and-space, and we have Pace-and-Fox. Year 3 will be The Year. Can't wait to write glowing retrospectives about it in a decade. WCG 2027 team will be STACKED.”
“The NFC has not been kind to teams aiming to snag a wildcard with fewer than 10 wins. The last team to do so were the 2008 Eagles, who made it at 9-6-1 (a half game better than the Bears, who they beat out in Week 17 when we lost to Houston). Prior to that, we had the 9-7 Giants and 8-8 Cowboys in 2006, the 8-8 Vikes and Rams in 2004, and the 9-6-1 Falcons in 2002. That's the four-division era. I see us conservatively with 8-9 wins heading into Week 17 at the Metrodome. It's gonna be tight.”
“But it will still be fun! I'm super pumped for the front 7, moderately pumped to see how this o-line shakes out, and tickled with anticipation for Year 2 of The Jay Cutler Revival.”
We all know someone had to do it, and Sam Householder has the Bears with a losing 7-9 record. (Go easy on him in the comment section)
“I hate to say it but this is another growing year. The team has enough young guys now that they need to learn to win. The schedule is soft but I think their lack of depth will bite them as players go down throughout the season. The other big issue they have going for them is their division.”
“The Vikings lost Teddy Bridgewater but still won't be an easy W, the Packers are the Packers and the Lions, for whatever reason, have had the Bears' number in recent years. This year I want to see the team do two things: 1) Play better at home. More than one home win would have me ecstatic and 2) Play better in the division, a 7-9 third place division finish where they go 3-3 vs. the division and 6-2 at home (holy crap the home schedule looks easy) I would chalk that up as a good season. The schedule has more than seven wins on it, yes, but I'm trying to temper my expectations.”
Steve Ronkowski has them at 7-9 too? (I suppose you should go easy on Ronk too...)
“We will see improvement on the defense this year, but will still struggle to pull out the W in close games and once again not be able to break into the ‘.500 or Better’ Club.“
Our very own WCG rookie, Robert Zeglinski, brings some positivity back and predicts the Bears at 9-7.
“While this team has plenty of question marks in the secondary, on the offensive line, and as to who will be consistent playmakers, I think there are more potential bright spots than most. They have a quality front seven, stability at quarterback, and won't exactly face a murderer's row of quarterbacks save for the couple times against Aaron Rodgers to take advantage of their back end defensively.”
“Bad luck with injuries might leave them with a worse record than last year given their lack of depth, but I'll be all sunshine and daisies and say they won't be decimated. The Bears take the next step in their rebuild, just missing the playoffs.”
And speaking of positivity, both Dane Noble and Kev H have the Bears at 10-6 in a wildcard spot. Dane gave us a bit of reasoning behind his prediction.
“I think the Bears have enough roster pieces in place to be an average team in the NFC this year, which should put them right around the 9 win mark and in the Wild Card hunt. The difference will be the coaching, and even though Adam Gase is gone, I think Fox, Fangio, and Loggains will continue in 2016 the trend we saw in 2015: The ability to make game-plans based on their personnel and their players' strengths (and hiding/ minimizing their weaknesses), versus forcing a game-plan upon players who can't execute the scheme.”
“Based on the coaching factor alone, I think that gets them to 10 wins, and into the playoffs as a Wild Card.”
Also, check out how close our poll was last week when Dane asked our readers to vote on how many wins the Bears would have.
But no one takes the glass half full (of beer no doubt), positive approach like the one and only Superfans, who have the Bears at an unblemished 16-0, and who decided to use Chicago-themed cinematic analogies in their reasoning.
“What a glorious day it shall be whence our beloved Chicago Bears steamroll though the 2016 season like Jake and Elwood’s Bluesmobile crashed through the Richard J. Daley Center.” ~ Bill Swerski
“The Monsters of the Midway will violently surprise our competition like Kevin McCallister took it to Harry and Marv.” ~ Pat Arnold
“Our offensive skill players will evade opposing defenses like Dr. Richard Kimble avoided getting caught by Deputy U.S. Marshal Samuel Gerard.” ~ Carl Wollarski
“When our boys in Navy and Orange take to the gridiron each week, we aren’t expecting a walk in the park, we’re expecting a battle. Two teams out to prove which is the very best each and every time they go to war, but only one shall leave with their heads held high. Only one shall come out victorious. One will break the spirit of the other and stand tall and proud, while the other sulks off with their tail between their legs. Oh, there will be pain, we’re expecting a lot of pain to be inflicted, but if they send one of ours to the hospital, we’ll send one of theirs to the morgue, because that's the Chicago way.“ ~ Todd O'Connor
Todd may have taken it a bit too far, but bonus points if anyone can guess which movies each Superfan referenced.