For the second straight season, Chicago has made a noteworthy transaction in the offseason, only this time to the other side of the ball. After a turnover-laden first season with Jay Cutler leading the offense under center, the Bears have added DE Julius Peppers to join the likes of linebackers Brian Urlacher and Lance Briggs on defense. Both units will have to improve for Chicago to challenge Green Bay and Minnesota. Read on as we continue our NFL team-by-team previews with a look at the 2010 Chicago Bears.
CHICAGO BEARS 2009 Record:7-9 (-0.8 ML Units), 6-10 ATS DIVISION:NFC North COACH:Lovie Smith, 7th year (54-46 SU, 46-50 ATS) STADIUM:Soldier Field Odds to win Super Bowl XLV:25 to 1, NFC Title:11 to 1 StatFox Power Rating:16 (#23 of 32) StatFox Outplay Factor Rating:-3 (#22 of 32)
2009 Key Team Stats & NFL Ranks Scoring Differential: -3 (#21 of 32) Yardage Differential: -27.5 (#23 of 32) Yards Per Play Differential: -0.12 (#20 of 32) Yards Per Point Differential: -0.77 (#20 of 32) Turnover Differential: -6 (#23 of 32) Total Offense (Yards Per Game): 310.3 (#23 of 32) Total Defense (Yards Per Game): 337.8 (#17 of 32)
2010 SCHEDULE: Strength – 21.56 (5th toughest of 32) DATE – OPPONENT, TIME 9/12/10 – DETROIT, 1:00 PM 9/19/10 – at Dallas, 1:00 PM 9/27/10 – GREEN BAY, 8:30 PM 10/3/10 – at NY Giants, 8:20 PM 10/10/10 – at Carolina, 1:00 PM 10/17/10 – SEATTLE, 1:00 PM 10/24/10 – WASHINGTON, 1:00 PM 11/7/10 – at Buffalo (in Toronto), 1:00 PM 11/14/10 – MINNESOTA, 1:00 PM 11/18/10 – at Miami, 8:20 PM 11/28/10 – PHILADELPHIA, 1:00 PM 12/5/10 – at Detroit, 1:00 PM 12/12/10 – NEW ENGLAND, 1:00 PM 12/20/10 – at Minnesota, 8:30 PM 12/26/10 – NY JETS, 1:00 PM 1/2/11 – at Green Bay, 1:00 PM
Sample StatFox Power Trend for 2010
CHICAGO is on a 2-16 ATS (-15.6 Units) skid after scoring 25 points or more in 2 straight games The Average Score was CHICAGO 19.2, OPPONENT 24.2 Las Vegas Odds 2010 OUTLOOK
Chicago fans are gushing over another prized acquisition, as DE Julius Peppers joins a unit that includes LB’s Brian Urlacher and Lance Briggs. It’s the second time in as many offseasons the front office put all of its eggs in one basket. Last year those eggs proved mainly rotten, with QB Jay Cutler leading the NFL in interceptions with 26 after a blockbuster trade with Denver. The Bears weren’t much of a factor in the NFC North and had the Lions, Rams and Browns to thank for four of their seven wins…A year after ranking third in the NFL in passing yards with 4,526, Cutler had never really got untracked and many of his picks came in the red zone or deep in Chicago territory. Overall, the offense ranked 23rd, up slightly from 26th, but the unit wasn’t close to meeting expectations. Little changed in personnel, but the presence of new coordinator Mike Martz and the natural progression of some younger players might turn it around. Though not big names at wide receiver, Martz thinks he has enough to get it done, and RB Matt Forte took a step back in 2009, but still totaled 1,400 yards from scrimmage. The line is in good shape…Perhaps not the team’s biggest problem, the Bears addressed some defensive concerns by investing in Peppers. HC Lovie Smith will be counting on Peppers to apply pressure in a QB-strong division, since there’s a chance the team’s starting ends, Alex Brown and Adewale Ogunleye, won’t be back. Of course, Urlacher’s season lasted just three quarters when he dislocated his right wrist in the opener…Expectations were high last season and the Bears didn’t come close to meeting them. Smith is on the hot seat, and a slow start could spell doom. While the addition of Peppers has created a buzz, he and Cutler need to be big for Chicago to make the playoffs. Vegas Odds
YouWager.com Regular Season Wins Prop: Over/Under 8 StatFox Steve’s Take: Eight wins for the Chicago Bears seems very optimistic to me considering how poorly Cutler played a year ago. If you look at the road schedule, you could easily see a second straight 2-6 record with wins coming at Buffalo and Detroit. If so, this team is not making the playoffs and 7-9 or even worse is the forecast. UNDER. NFL Scores
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