Chicago Bears 2012 NFL Team Preview
The Bears reunited quarterback Jay Cutler with his former Broncos teammate, wide receiver Brandon Marshall. They played together from 2007-08 and Marshall played in Miami for two years before being traded to the Bears.
In addition to bringing in Marshall they added depth through free agency, signing former Redskins and Raiders starting quarterback Jason Campbell, who is among the best backup quarterbacks entering next season. The Bears also signed running back Michael Bush as Matt Forte's backup. He will replace Marion Barber, whi retired after just one season with the team.
They also added depth at wide receiver, linebacker and cornerback. They brought in Devin Thomas and Eric Weems, adding them to a solid receiving corps that has Marshall, Johnny Knox and Devin Hester. The Bears signed former 49ers linebacker Blake Constanzo and replaced cornerbacks Zack Bowman and Cory Graham with former Colts and Falcons cornerback Kelvin Hayden.
Their biggest loss was the departure of safety Brandon Meriweather, who was a leader for the defense. The Bears focused on defense in the draft, selecting Boise State's Shea McClellin with the 19th overall pick and safety Brandon Hardin from Oregon State.
The Bears were 7-3 before Jay Cutler went down with an injury. They managed just one more win behind Caleb Hanie, closing out the season with an 8-8 record.
The Bears will play the Packers and the Lions twice, including playing the Packers on a Thursday in Week 2 on the road, which means just four days in between games. The Bears host the Texans and travel to Dallas but other than that their schedule doesn't look tough, they play the Jaguars, the Rams, the Panthers and the Titans along with their two games against the Vikings. They do play three of their last four games on the road, which could be a factor in the race for the NFC North.
I really like the Bears' chances next season and I see them contending not just for the NFC North title but for the NFC and the Super Bowl. This team looks to have all of the pieces in place and if they stay healthy they will be very tough to beat. The oddsmakers at America's Bookie set the win total for the Bears next season at 9. Take over 9 (-135), it's a play with great value.
Chicago Bears 2012 Regular Season Schedule
Week 1: 1:00 PM ET, September 9 vs. Indianapolis
Week 2: 8:20 PM ET, September 13 @ Green Bay
Week 3: 1:00 PM ET, September 23 vs. St. Louis
Week 4: 8:30 PM ET, October 1 @ Dallas
Week 5: 4:05 PM ET, October 7 @ Jacksonville
Week 6: BYE
Week 7: 8:30 PM ET, October 22 vs. Detroit
Week 8: 1:00 PM ET, October 28 vs. Carolina
Week 9: 1:00 PM ET, November 4 @ Tennessee
Week 10: 8:20 PM ET, November 11 vs. Houston
Week 11: 8:30 PM ET, November 19 @ San Francisco
Week 12: 1:00 PM ET, November 25 vs. Minnesota
Week 13: 1:00 PM ET, December 2 vs. Seattle
Week 14: 1:00 PM ET, December 9 @ Minnesota
Week 15: 1:00 PM ET, December 16 vs. Green Bay
Week 16: 4:25 PM ET, December 23 @ Arizona
Week 17: 1:00 PM ET, December 30 @ Detroit
- Report: Broncos’ Walton has ankle surgery
- Giants legendary punter Jennings passes away
- Extra Points: Idle hands could take down Patriots’ Hernandez
- 49ers ink DT Justin Smith to extension
- Report: Pats’ Hernandez questioned in murder probe
- Cowboys ink third-round pick Williams
- Atlanta radio hosts fired after mocking Gleason
- Chad Johnson released from jail after apology
- Former Dolphins WR Chad Johnson released from jail
- Packers release LB Bishop