The Chicago Bears are off a miserable 5-11 season, but they do hope good things are on the way with the hiring of John Fox. Vegas isn't expecting a whole lot from this tam as their Win Total has been set at 7, with juice to the under (-140). Vegas odds have the Bears at +1600 to win the NFC North, +3500 to win the NFC Title and +6000 to win Super Bowl 50. A season preview of the Chicago Bears along with their 2015 Schedule are below.
Last year the Bears offense ranked 23rd in scoring, at 19.9 ppg, while also ranking 21st in total yards (327.1 ypg), 15th in passing (237.0 ypg) and 27th in rushing (90.1 ypg). Can we get some continuity here please? Jay Cutler has some good talent at QB, but he will be playing for his 5th different offensive coordinator this year. The hope is that New OC Adam Gase will help Cultler cut down on the costly mistakes that has plagued him over his career. Last year he has a career high 66% completion rate, but also threw 24 INT's, which led the NFL. Jay could use some help from a poor running attack that ranked 27th in rushing last year. That is astounding considering the fact that Matt Forte is the one running the ball. He did set an NFL record for catches by a back with 102 last year, but they need more proction from him on the ground. He is the man to tote the ball again, while 4th round pick Jeremy Langford, who is faster than Forte, Should get some touches as well. The WR corps loses Brandon Marshall, but Alshon Jeffrey returns and they also drafter Kevin White from West Virginia with the 7th overall pick. They have also added Eddie Royal through free agency. This is a pretty solid WR corps, but does lack some depth. The OL had it's issues last year, but the main players are back, including Kyle Long, who is the only Bear offensive lineman to be selected to the Pro Bowl in his first 2 years.
Defensively the Bears ranked 31st in points allowed (27.6 ppg), 30th in yards allowed (377.1 ypg), 30th vs the pass (264.4 ypg) and 17th vs the run (112.7 ypg). Defense is where this team had many issues last year and it is where they spent most of the offseason trying to rebuild. The first addition to the defense is DC Vic Fangio, who ran a San Francisco defense that allowed just 17.4 pg from 2011-2014. He will also switch the bears from a 4-3 to a 3-4 defense, so there will be some growing pains with this unit. The DL looked to have an immediate upgrade with the signing of Ray McDonald, but now they must go to plan B as he was kicked off the team for domestic violence charges. Those are the same reasons he was kicked off the Niners. There is still talent on the line with Jeremiah Ratcliff and 2nd round pick Eddie Goldman, but it could have been better. The LB corps was upgraded with the addition of Pernell McPhee, who can play anywhere in the front 7. LB's Sam Acho and Mason Foster were also brought in and will join the likes of Lamar Houston, Christian Jones and Jared Allen to form a very solid and deep LB corps. The Secondary was a mess last year, but should be improved this year with the Addition of Antrel Rolle and Adam Ball, but this unit does lack depth.
The Bears have some work to do, but new head coach John Fox does have a couple of positives in his first year. First is the fact that there is no pressure for him to win this year. This is truly a rebuilding year for this team. Next is the staff that he has assembled, including Adam Gase, who was John's OC at Denver for 2 years and Vic Fangio, who is a mastermind on defense. The Offense has plenty of skill players and they should get many chances to produce with Cutler throw the ball or handing it off to them. I do expect him to cut down on his mistakes this year, which should lead to more scoring from this team. The OL must step up though to help the running game, which will take some pressure off of Cutler. The defense was the second worst in the league last as far as points allowed and 3rd as far as yards allowed, but they did make some nice offseason moves to upgrade the defense and having Vic Fangio running it will help. They are changing schemes and have a depth problem on the defense, but still this should be a vastly improved unit by season's end. The Win total for this team is 7 and I see them hitting that number exact.
Info Gathered From Pro Football Weekly & Athlon Sports
2015 Chicago Bears Schedule
Sept. 13 Green Bay Packers, 1
Sept. 20 Arizona Cardinals, 1
Sept. 27 at Seattle Seahawks, 4:25
Oct. 4 Oakland Raiders, 1
Oct. 11 at Kansas City Chiefs, 1
Oct. 18 at Detroit Lions, 1
Oct. 25 BYE
Nov. 1 Minnesota Vikings, 1
Nov. 9 at San Diego Chargers (Mon), 8:30
Nov. 15 at St. Louis Rams, 1
Nov. 22 Denver Broncos, 1
Nov. 26 at Green Bay Packers (Thu), 8:30
Dec. 6 San Francisco 49ers, 1
Dec. 13 Washington Redskins, 1
Dec. 20 at Minnesota Vikings, 1
Dec. 27 at Tampa Bay Buccaneers, 1
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Chicago Bears: 2015 NFL Free Picks & Betting Odds
Sorry Chicago fans but Da Bears are not going to be a competitive team in the NFC this season. The biggest problem? Jay Cutler. Not only is he an inconsistent quarterback, he is also apparently not liked by the coaches, coordinators, and his teammates. The Bears allegedly tried to trade him during the 2015 NFL Draft, but no one wanted him. With new coach John Fox, there may be some hope things turn around, but pro bettors Teddy Covers and Steve Fezzik are wagering he won’t be a big difference maker this season.