The Chicago Bears will likely put up more impressive numbers with the addition of new offensive coordinator Mike Martz, but they will need a much better defensive effort this season in order to be a real force in the NFC. The signing of All-Pro DE Julius Peppers should help the Bears pressure the top quarterbacks in the division like Brett Favre and Aaron Rodgers if he is motivated enough to prove himself as one of the NFL’s best defensive players. If not, the Windy City will blow head coach Lovie Smith out of town following another disappointing year.
Odds to win NFC North Division: +350
Odds to win the NFC Conference: 15/1
Chicago Bears Odds to win Super Bowl XLV: 30/1
Regular Season Wins Total Line: 8
*all odds quoted from Bodog*
Here’s what this year’s schedule looks like for the Bears:
Week 1 Sunday, September 12, 2010 vs. Chicago Bears
Analysis: The Bears scored 85 points in two meetings with the Lions last year and will get to face them before they have a chance to jell as a team.
Week 2 Sunday, September 19, 2010 @ Dallas Cowboys
Analysis: This will be the first of three road games in four weeks for the Bears – and the toughest.
Week 3 Monday, September 27, 2010 vs. Green Bay Packers
Analysis: Chicago QB Jay Cutler threw six interceptions in two meetings with the Packers a year ago and will get to show how much he’s grown coming off a tough road game at Dallas.
Week 4 Sunday, October 3, 2010 @ New York Giants
Analysis: The Giants will be playing their third home game in four weeks to start the season and their second prime-time television game after visiting Indianapolis two weeks earlier.
Week 5 Sunday, October 10, 2010 @ Carolina Panthers
Analysis: Prized free agent Peppers gets his opportunity to beat his former team in what should be an emotional return to Carolina.
Week 6 Sunday, October 17, 2010 vs. Seattle Seahawks
Analysis: The Bears won last year’s meeting at Seattle on a 36-yard touchdown pass from Cutler to Devin Hester with less than two minutes remaining.
Week 7 Sunday, October 24, 2010 vs. Washington Redskins
Analysis: The Redskins finish the first half of their season with a couple road games against NFC North opponents after hosting Green Bay and Indianapolis while the Bears play the second of two winnable home games before their bye week.
Week 8 — BYE WEEK —
Week 9 Sunday, November 7, 2010 @ Buffalo Bills (Toronto)
Analysis: The Bills play away from home for the third straight week at Toronto even though this is considered a home game.
Week 10 Sunday, November 14, 2010 vs. Minnesota Vikings
Analysis: Chicago made a statement in the last meeting against the Vikings and will get an excellent opportunity to set the tone for the NFC North race by playing its third straight divisional game at home.
Week 11 Thursday, November 18, 2010 @ Miami Dolphins
Analysis: The Bears will be coming off a physical game against the Vikings and have to travel to Miami on short rest.
Week 12 Sunday, November 28, 2010 vs. Philadelphia Eagles
Analysis: Chicago faces Philadelphia for the fourth year in a row with the previous three meetings all decided by four points or less.
Week 13 Sunday, December 5, 2010 @ Detroit Lions
Analysis: The Lions were one of three teams Cutler did not throw an interception against last year, as he threw six touchdown passes against them in two games and had a QB rating of over 100 both times.
Week 14 Sunday, December 12, 2010 vs. New England Patriots
Analysis: The Bears host the Patriots in the middle of two divisional road games at Detroit and Minnesota.
Week 15 Monday, December 20, 2010 @ Minnesota Vikings
Analysis: The Vikings play their home finale against the Bears before closing out their season on the road at Philadelphia and Detroit.
Week 16 Sunday, December 26, 2010 vs. New York Jets
Analysis: The Jets will be playing their third road game in four weeks and second in a row after visiting Pittsburgh.
Week 17 Sunday, January 2, 2011 @ Green Bay Packers
Analysis: The Packers and Bears finish the regular season off with a game that might have divisional title implications or might not mean anything.