Chicago Bears 2010-2011 Season Preview

A Look Back – Around this time last season, the Chicago Bears had to feel great about their position as legitimate contenders after acquiring QB Jay Cutler from the Denver Broncos. Oops. Cutler chucked 26 picks against 27 touchdown passes and was the cause of more defeats than he was the reason for victories. Losing LB Brian Urlacher, the team’s captain and leader on the field, right at the outset of the season really didn’t help matters either. A 7-9 season almost certainly puts everyone in the Windy City on the hot seat, and failing to reach the second season once again will surely see plenty of heads rolling in the offseason.

Key Addition – DE Julius Peppers – When the Bears were at their best in recent years, they found ways to get to the passer and terrorize opposing offenses. There is no one better at that than Peppers is. Considering the fact that Chicago was essentially going through this season without any legitimate draft selections (because they were all traded to Denver for Cutler), making a move in free agency was an absolute must. Now, one of the most feared pass rushers in the game is making his home in the Windy City, where he will team up with a ferocious ‘D’ that should wreck all sorts of havoc.Chicago Bears NFL Cheerleaders

Key Loss – DE Alex Brown – Having Peppers is fantastic, but someone is going to have to line up on his other side. Between the untimely passing of DE Gaines Adams and Brown heading to New Orleans, there could be a major void at defensive end, especially if Adewale Ogunleye continues to slow down as he has over the past few years in his career.

2010 Will Be a Success if… – Cutler stops turning the ball over. If you ask any fan of the Bears in the Windy City, they’ll be the first to tell you that this was a 10-6 team last season had Cutler only thrown 12 picks instead of 26. The Vanderbilt product is known as a bit of a drama queen, and if he doesn’t perform better in the biggest spots for Chicago, the media will eat him alive, chew him up, and spit him out. If that happens, it might not just be this season that is wrecked for the Bears, but it might send the entire franchise into turmoil for quite some time.

The Crucial Game – Every game is a crucial game for the Bears, especially with so much pressure to perform. It isn’t often that we say that the Lions are the most important team on anyone’s schedule, but that opening week game at home against Detroit is as big as it gets. Should Chicago lose that game, the year could fall apart before it has even really started.

Predictions – Are you ready to hit the panic button, Bears fans? Chicago just doesn’t have the horses on either side of the ball to keep up with the Vikes or the Packers, especially if Favre comes back to Minnesota. Finishing 9-7 or possibly even 10-6 isn’t totally out of the question, but a third place finish in the division without a playoff berth is incredibly likely whether Da Bears win six games or ten games. Either way, HC Lovie Smith won’t return as Bears head coach.

2010 Chicago Bears Regular Season Schedule

9/12 vs. DET (+7)
9/19 @ DAL
9/27 vs. GB
10/3 @ NYG
10/10 @ CAR
10/17 vs. SEA
10/24 vs. WAS
Bye
11/7 @ BUF
11/14 vs. MIN
11/18 @ MIA
11/28 vs. PHI
12/5 @ DET
12/12 vs. NE
12/20 @ MIN
12/26 vs. NYJ
1/2 @ GB

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