Before I go into the Chicago Bears 2012 team preview, let’s breakdown the two biggest stars’ girlfriends. Jay Cutler is still with Kristin Cavallari and now Brian Urlacher is dating Jenny McCarthy. Should I be worried that these guys will be a bit distracted this season? Jim Carray didn’t exactly put out his best work while dating McCarthy. Urlacher may put out a “Fun With Dick and Jane”-type of performance. Yikes!
I may need to dig deeper into both of these relationships later, but I have a lot of team previews to knock out before the NFL season begins.
Now that I got that off my chest, we can get into the Bears preview.
Chicago was one of the best teams in the NFC before Cutler and Forte went down with injuries. They missed the playoffs and realized Mike Martz wasn’t working as their offensive coordinator, so he’s gone.
How will Brandon Marshall perform when he is reunited with Cutler? Will Michael Bush be the complement to Forte they were missing last season?
Key Additions: WR Brandon Marshall, RB Michael Bush, QB Jason Campbell, CB Kelvin Hayden, LB Blake Costanzo, LB Geno Hayes, DT DeMario Pressley, OG Chilo Rachal, WR Devin Thomas, WR Eric Weems, CB Jonathan Wilhite, RB Lorenzo Booker, TE Evan Rodriguez, LB Shea McClellin, WR Alshon Jeffery and S Brandon Hardin.
Key Losses: S Brandon Meriweather, WR Roy Williams, DT Amobi Okoye, OT Frank Omiyale, QB Caleb Hanie, CB Zack Bowman, DT Anthony Adams, CB Corey Graham and RB Marion Barber.
Non-Division Schedule: AFC South and NFC West
Fantasy Sleeper: TE Evan Rodriguez – Mike Tice is the new offensive coordinator in Chicago and he will not ignore the tight end position like Martz. Kellen Davis will be the starter, but expect plenty two-TE sets. Cutler checked down to tight ends in Denver and Chicago’s tight ends will be more productive in 2012. Alshon Jeffery will be an interesting sleeper as well. Johnny Knox may start out the season on the PUP list and Cutler will need a big target other than Marshall and his tight ends.
Team Analysis: The NFC North will be the toughest division in the NFL. Detroit and Green Bay will be fighting Chicago for the division crown. The division will all see an easier non-divisional schedule by facing the AFC South and NFC West in 2012. Cutler will be more horizontal this year with quicker plays that won’t take long to develop. He will be thanking God that Martz is no longer calling plays and Marshall is back receiving his passes. Forte and new addition Michael Bush both have great hands. Chicago will have a very good rushing attack. Lance Briggs and Urlacher are another year older and they are still producing like Pro Bowlers. Their defense looked old at times last season, but they added a few younger pieces to help this squad regain their past dominance. You will see Chicago in the playoffs this season, but they may not get in as a divisional winner. The NFC North will be a fun division to watch play out this season.
2012 Wins Over/Under Line: 9 (Prediction: OVER)
2012 Projected Win/Loss Record: 12-4