Defending NFC North Champion Underdogs?

Did you wake up with a little extra pep in your step this morning? I bet you did.

Your Chicago Bears are back folks. Who better to kick off the NFL season than the Bears/Packers? Last season, we were shown a flash of what the Bears could be on Opening Night. Chicago was a few slippery fingers by Kyle Fuller away from upsetting the Packers. While devastating, Chicago fans knew they were in for special season.

A special season it was. The Bears finished 12-4 and were crowned NFC North Champions. I compared them to the 2015 Cubs and they lived up to those expectations. We are not going to talk about the double doink because the past is in the past. You can either run from it or learn from it, wise words from Rafiki.

I predicted the Bears would finish 8-8 last season, thankfully I was wrong. Surprisingly enough, a lot of “experts” and very down on a team that won 12 games last season. Many are predicting the Packers will win the division. They are convinced the Bears will regress on defense although they lost virtually zero key players. Sure, Vic Fangio was a big piece of the defense but Chuck Pagano is no chump folks. The kicking issues were never truly addressed, this is something that annoys me. Matt Bryant, a kicker who has had success in the NFL playoffs is still out there on the free agent market. The Bears instead chose to go with Eddie Pineiro, a kicker who has never attempted a kick in an NFL game. I am not happy about this but we are going to move on thinking he will prove me wrong.

Lastly, we know who this entire season falls on once again. #10, Mitch Trubisky. We know this franchise only goes as far as the face of the franchise takes them. He showed flashes of brilliance and flashes of inexperience last season. He came up in the clutch during the Eagles playoff game and had a masterful 4th quarter. I am a Mitch backer. Why would you choose to be anything other than that? Do you enjoy rooting for the future of the franchise to fail? Give him a chance with another year in this offense. If he falters this year, then you have every right to hate. Until then, support the Chicago Bears. Don’t be a pessimist.

Let’s get into the all too important season predictions. The NFL is super predictable so this should be spot on.

Week 1: vs. Green Bay Packers on Sept. 5 at 8:20 p.m. ET, NBC   WIN

Week 2: at Denver Broncos on Sept. 15 at 4:25 p.m. ET, Fox   LOSS

Week 3: at Washington Redskins on Sept. 23 at 8:15 p.m. ET, ESPN   WIN

Week 4: vs. Minnesota Vikings on Sept. 29 at 4:25 p.m. ET, CBS  WIN

Week 5: at Oakland Raiders in London on Oct. 6 at 1 p.m. ET, Fox  WIN

Week 6: BYE

Week 7: vs. New Orleans Saints on Oct. 20 at 4:25 p.m. ET, Fox  WIN

Week 8: vs. Los Angeles Chargers on Oct. 27 at 1 p.m. ET, Fox  WIN

Week 9: at Philadelphia Eagles on Nov. 3 at 1 p.m. ET, Fox  LOSS

Week 10: vs. Detroit Lions on Nov. 10 at 1 p.m. ET, CBS  WIN

Week 11: at Los Angeles Rams on Nov. 17 at 8:20 p.m. ET, NBC  LOSS

Week 12: vs. New York Giants on Nov. 24 at 1 p.m. ET, Fox  WIN

Week 13: at Detroit Lions on Thanksgiving Day (Nov. 28) at 12:30 p.m. ET, Fox  WIN

Week 14: vs. Dallas Cowboys on Dec. 5 at 8:20 p.m. ET on Fox/NFL Network  WIN

Week 15: at Green Bay Packers on Dec. 15 at 1 p.m. ET, Fox  LOSS

Week 16: vs. Kansas City Chiefs on Dec. 22 at 8:20 p.m. ET, NBC  LOSS

Week 17: at Minnesota Vikings on Dec. 29 at 1 p.m. ET, Fox  LOSS

FINAL RECORD: 10-6

Let’s be honest, this Bears schedule is not easy. The last few games will be an absolute grind. This will mean they will need to show up against the Saints and Chargers coming out of the bye week. I think the NFC North is going to be similar to the NL Central this season. Each team will beat up on each other, leading to a mediocre record winning the division. This season all depends on how much these Bears show up against tough opponents. I expect they will lose one game against a below average opponent, the Broncos. I think they will handle the rest of the easy games after that wake up call early in the season.

Mitch will take another step forward this year. The Bears defense will not regress enough for it to be a storyline. Roquan and Leonard Floyd will take a huge step forward. Speaking of storylines, let’s hope the kicking one ends very soon.

Let’s hope I am off with my prediction and the Bears channel this underdog mentality all season. Bear down.

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