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JAY CUTLER HAS 50 TD PASSES AND 42 INT IN 2 SEASONS WITH CHICAGO.
Mon, 29 Aug 2011 04:25 PM EDT


CHICAGO BEARS

2010 Statistics:
SU Record: 12-6
ATS Record: 10-7-1
Over/Under: 8-10
Points Scored: 20.9 PPG (21st in NFL)
Points Allowed: 17.9 PPG (4th in NFL)

2011 Odds:
Odds to Win NFC North: 5/1
Odds to Win NFC Championship: 20/1
Odds to Win Super Bowl XLVI: 40/1
Regular Season Wins Over/Under: 8

2011 Preview:
Offense:
Chicago seemed to be more of a smoke and mirrors team last year, but they did make it to within a win of the Super Bowl. Offensive coordinator Mike Martz, long a pass-happy mad bomber, has turned to the ground game, mostly because the erratic Jay Cutler isn’t a good fit for his system, which requires the kind of anticipatory throws that Cutler doesn’t do well. Offensive line coach Mike Tice worked wonders with this offensive line last season, and the addition of first-round pick Gabe Carimi, the best run-blocking tackle in the draft, indicates that they plan on relying on the ground game again. The signing of bruising RB Marion Barber also signals a dependency on the run. NFL scores.

Defense:
The arrival of DE Julius Peppers made a huge difference on the defensive side of the ball, and Chicago’s bend-don’t-break philosophy led to a number of tight wins. Devin Hester’s prowess in the return game also tips the scales in their favor. Opposing teams had a net punting average of 32.6 against Chicago, lowest in the NFL. NFL spreads.

Key Offseason Moves
ADDITIONS
RB Marion Barber (from Cowboys)
WR Roy Williams (from Cowboys)
WR Sam Hurd (from Cowboys)
TE Matt Spaeth (from Steelers)
C Chris Spencer (from Seahawks)
DE Vernon Gholston (from Jets)
DT Amobi Okoye (from Texans)
P Adam Podlesh (from Jaguars)

SUBTRACTIONS
WR Devin Aromashodu (Vikings)
WR Rashied Davis (Lions)
TE Greg Olsen (Panthers)
TE Brandon Manumaleuna (released)
C Olin Kreutz (Saints)
T Kevin Shaffer (released)
DT Tommie Harris (Colts)
LB Hunter Hillenmeyer (released)
S Danieal Manning (Texans)
S Josh Bullocks (Raiders)
P Brad Maynard (Texans)
P Richmond McGee (Browns)

2011 Schedule:
2011 Schedule Strength: 21.06 (7th toughest in NFL)
Week 1 – Atlanta
Week 2 – at New Orleans
Week 3 – Green Bay
Week 4 – Carolina
Week 5 – at Detroit
Week 6 – Minnesota
Week 7 – vs. Tampa Bay (in London)
Week 8 – BYE WEEK
Week 9 – at Philadelphia
Week 10 – Detroit
Week 11 – San Diego
Week 12 – at Oakland
Week 13 – Kansas City
Week 14 – at Denver
Week 15 – Seattle
Week 16 – at Green Bay
Week 17 – at Minnesota

StatFox Take: With non-division games against the strong NFC South and improving AFC West, there aren’t a whole lot of easy wins for Chicago here. The season begins against three reigning playoff teams with the Falcons, Saints and Packers trying to put the Bears in an 0-3 hole to dig out of all season. A scheduling quirk has Chicago playing just one division game in an eight-game stretch, which includes four straight versus the AFC West. A strong ground game will be key down the stretch as four of the final five games will be played in frigid temperatures. NFL lines.
Prediction: UNDER 8 (Even)

All NFL Previews

AFC East
Buffalo Bills
Miami Dolphins
New England Patriots
New York Jets

AFC North
Baltimore Ravens
Cincinnati Bengals
Cleveland Browns
Pittsburgh Steelers

AFC South
Houston Texans
Indianapolis Colts
Jacksonville Jaguars
Tennessee Titans

AFC West
Denver Broncos
Kansas City Chiefs
Oakland Raiders
San Diego Chargers

NFC East
Dallas Cowboys
New York Giants
Philadelphia Eagles
Washington Redskins

NFC North
Chicago Bears
Detroit Lions – Monday, August 29
Green Bay Packers – Tuesday, August 30
Minnesota Vikings – Tuesday, August 30

NFC South
Atlanta Falcons – Wednesday, August 31
Carolina Panthers – Wednesday, August 31
New Orleans Saints – Thursday, September 1
Tampa Bay Buccaneers – Thursday, September 1

NFC West
Arizona Cardinals – Friday, September 2
San Francisco 49ers – Friday, September 2
Seattle Seahawks – Monday, September 5
St. Louis Rams – Monday, September 5


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