We stand on the Eve of the kickoff to the 2014 NFL season. The defending champion Seattle Seahawks take on the Green Bay Packers up in the Pacific Northwest. What better time to take a look at your favorite team and go through the schedule!
Week 1: Buffalo Bills- I love the Buffalo Bills. In the late 80s and early 90s they had one of the best teams in football. Jim Kelly, Thurman Thomas, Bruce Smith and their fiery, yet intelligent coach, Marv Levy. These are not those Bills. The 2014 Bills are kind of a mess on offense. 2nd year QB EJ Manuel seems to be regressing. Bears win 38-13
Week 2: @San Francisco- The 49ers are hurting on defense. They lost two players to lengthy suspension. All that said, the Bears have struggled in the Bay area. I’m hoping I am wrong on this one. Bears lose 20-23.
Week 3: @NY Jets- The Jets have a history with starting slow. Sometimes it’s not who you play as much as when you play them. Geno Smith has looked spotty at times. I think the Bears roll into New Jersey and put a loss on the Jets. Bears win 27-23.
Week 4: Green Bay Packers- The Packers have the Bears number, especially at Soldier Field, with Aaron Rodgers at QB. I think this one will be a barn burner. Both teams sport some high powered offenses. Bears lose 38-44.
Week 5: @Carolina Panthers- Carolina turned their season around last year and played inspired football. This year Cam Newton is dinged up and he lost most of his receivers from 2013. Their defense is still stout, but is it enough to stop the Bears? I think not. Bears win 27-17.
Week 6: @Atlanta Falcons- Last year Atlanta had some tough injuries to key players. Both WR went down, Julio Jones, for the season. He’s back this year and they have bolstered the offensive line, which is good for QB Matt Ryan. They also added former Bears special teams ace, Devin Hester, who will look to show Chicago they messed up. This should be a real good one. I am predicting lots of scoring and many lead changes. Bears edge out the Falcons 37-34.
Week 7: Miami Dolphins- Miami played up and down last season, finishing 8-8. QB Ryan Tannehill made some progress. I think the Bears have a little letdown from the previous week, but hang on to Beat the Dolphins. Bears win 23-19.
Week 8: @Patriots- The Patriots are a really good team on all phases. They are well coached and as long as Tom Brady is the QB, they have a good chance of winning. Especially at home and in mid-season form. Bears lose 24-33.
Week 9: Bye.
Week 10: @Green Bay Packers- Last year the Bears went up to Green Bay and stunned the Packers with backup QB Josh McCown. It came after Shea McClellin knocked out Packers MVP Aaron Rodgers. This year it will be a similar result without knocking the QB out. Trestman has 2 weeks to prepare. Bears win 31-27.
Week 11: Minnesota Vikings- The Vikings are improved on offense if only by Matt Cassel winning the starting QB Job. That provides some stability for 2nd year WR Cordarrelle Patterson and TE Kyle Rudolph. The Bears might have a little let down from the previous week’s clash with the storied Packers. I think they will have just enough to defeat the resurgent Vikings. Bears win 27-23.
Week 12: Tampa Bay Buccaneers- Old coach meets new coach. Former backup Josh McCown will have 11 weeks under his belt when the Bucs come to Soldier Field. Should be an epic clash. Possibly a playoff preview. Depending on the weather conditions, this game could be quite the shootout. I’m going to say defenses will make stops when needed. Bears win 33-27.
Week 13: @Detroit Lions- This will be the 3rd game in 11 days for the Bears, an early game on Thanksgiving to boot. I expect the Bears to fall behind early. Maybe 10 points or so, then pick up the slack. Not enough to pull out the win though. Bears lose 31-37
Week 14: Dallas Cowboys- Last year Josh McCown put up a 40-burger on America’s team. The trio of Brandon Marshall, Alshon Jefferey and Matt Forte proved to be too much for Dallas in windy and bitter cold conditions. I was shocked myself. Cowboys lost future Hall of Fame DE DeMarcus Ware. The Bears will be at home for this Thursday night collision. Bears win 26-20.
Week 15: New Orleans Saints- The Saints come marching in to Chicago for the second straight year. This time, the playoffs will likely be on the line for one or both teams. The Bears will have a few extra days to prepare for this Monday Night fight. Drew Brees and the Saints outgun the Bears, possibly in snowy conditions. Bears lose 27-34.
Week 16: Detroit Lions- Bears seek revenge with a playoff spot on the line. Bears look to clinch a wild card spot with a victory over their division rivals. They score on their first 6 drives and coast to a victory. Bears win 44-23.
Week 17: @Minnesota Vikings- The Bears travel north to end the season. I predict this will be a slugfest, not much defense on either side. The Bears might even be resting some starters to get ready for the playoffs. They get a lead early and hang on late for the win. Bears win 34-30.
So there you go, the Bears go 11-5 and make the playoffs via the Wild Card! It will be interesting if I get any of these games correct. Perhaps I will edit these with the real scores as they happen.
For more on the Bears, check out my Bold Predictions for the 2014 season!