Chicago Bears 2008 NFL Projection:
If there's one team that would desire to throw out last season
more than any other squad it has to be the Bears.
After appearing in Super Bowl XLI, Chicago followed up their success with a sub .500 performance,
by Detroit and Minnesota, but oddly enough sweeping Green Bay.
Coming into 2008 Kyle Orton has been named the starting QB.
Unfortunately for Orton, WR Bernard Berrian departed
for division rival Minnesota. Taking his place is Marty Booker...
Lovie Smith and crew need Devin Hester to improve at WR otherwise
the passing game could once again find itself in dire straights unless the offensive line can turn
in a miraculous performance.
As far as their offensive line goes, the departure of Ruben Brown coupled with an injury to first round draft pick
Chris Williams, has left the Bears' o-line
in a weakened state heading into the season. Considering the Bears ranked 30th in rushing offense in 2007,
things look a bit glum for this unit.
In an effort to revamp their rushing game, Chicago selected Tulane's Matt Forte in the second round of the draft.
The question is-- will he have many holes to run through?
At least the Bears can expect scoring from Devin Hester's special teams play.
Hester is on an astonishing scoring pace sure to
land him in the pro football hall of fame in Canton, Ohio--
as we noted in our
2007 week 12 power rankings
(see 18th ranking).
On the defensive side of the ball the Bears ranked 28th in the league last season.
Their secondary was plagued by injuries to Vasher and Brown which lead to
Chicago's 27th ranking against the pass.
Also hurting the defense was the Tank Johnson void (now with Dallas) and an
ACL injury suffered by Dusty Dvoracek... Dusty's return should help the defense regain
Meanwhile the strength of the Bears' defense lies with linebackers Urlacher and Briggs.
In 2008 Chicago will play a modest six games versus teams that made the playoffs last season, mostly
due to suiting up against the AFC South...
Toughening up their schedule are the two annual games against
(projected to be playoff caliber this season)
in weeks 7 and 13.
With a weak offensive line and questions at QB, it looks like the Bears will
have to rely on their defense and the dynamic special teams play of Devin Hester once again to win games.
There's no question that a good defense can take teams far in the NFL. So it's imperative
that Chicago's defense remains healthy in 08... But what are the odds this unit will remain
when expecting to see so much extra field time thanks to an offense that figures to struggle?
Overall we're now predicting a record of (7-9) for the 2008 Chicago Bears-- a slight downgrade before the season begins
as their defense is surely
strong enough to win games, but their offense appears weak enough to lose plenty more than their fair share.
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Free 2008 NFL Predictions Note:
these now archived 2008 NFL forecasts were made
during the 2008 preseason.
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