With the NFL season officially kicking off today, I make my bold predictions on the Chicago Bears 2012 season.
Week 1 Indianapolis Colts vs. Bears: Win
Week 2 Bears vs. Green Bay Packers: Loss
Week 3 St. Louis Rams vs. Bears: Win
Week 4 Bears vs. Dallas Cowboys: Loss
Week 5 Bears vs. Jacksonville Jaguars: Win
Week 7 Detroit Lions vs. Bears: Win
Week 8 Carolina Panthers vs. Bears: Win
Week 9 Bears vs. Tennessee Titans: Loss
Week 10 Houston Titans vs. Bears: Win
Week 11 Bears vs. San Francisco 49ers: Loss
Week 12 Minnesota Vikings vs. Bears: Win
Week 13 Bears vs. Seattle Seahawks: Loss
Week 14 Bears vs. Vikings: Win
Week 15 Packers vs. Bears: Win
Week 16 Bears vs. Arizona Cardinals: Win
Week 17 Bears vs. Lions: Loss
Overall record 11-5 (Second in NFC North behind Packers)
MVP of the Team: Jay Cutler
The system change on offense should benefit the Offensive Line; the ground game should be very effective, and the Wide Receiver position looks to be much improved. There’s no excuse for Cutler not to have a breakout season and take that next step into reaching elite status.
Team’s Rookie of the Year: Alshon Jeffery
It usually takes first year WR’s three years for them to reach their full potential. If the preseason gives any indication, Jeffery should be an immediate impact player this season. Jeffery should be able to make his presence felt in the red zone early on in the season, and midway should crack into the starting line-up.
Leading Rusher: Matt Forte
Michael Bush was brought in to help Forte in the red zone and short yardage opportunities. However, Forte should see his best season from a rushing stand point now that teams won’t be zero in on him.
Leading Receiver: Brandon Marshall
The last 1,000 yard receiver for the Bears was Marty Booker back in 2002. Great chance the Bears finally break the decade long drought, with a WR that has posted 1000+ yards five out of his six years in the league.
Leader in Tackles: Lance Briggs
In a system that is predicated on the weak-side Linebacker being the clean-up man, Briggs should be a heavy favorite every year to lead the team in tackles
Leader in Sacks: Julius Peppers
Even though he will battle Plantar Fasciitis, double and sometimes triple teams throughout the season, I just can’t bet against Peppers leading the team in sacks this year.
Breakout Player on Offense: Gabe Carimi
In preseason play, Carimi look like he is starting to trust his surgically repaired knee again. The 2011 first round draft pick, has the potential to be the Bears best OL this year hands down.
Breakout Player on Defense: Chris Conte
The Bears last season struggle to prevent big plays from happening on the secondary; Conte insertion in the starting line-up midway in the season change that.
With another year in the defense, Conte should have an even better understanding of the defense, which should allow him to be in position to make more plays on the ball.
Most Improved Player: Major Wright
In his third year with the team, 2012 will be a crucial year for Wright to prove that he’s an NFL starting caliber safety. I have Wright as the most improve player on the team, in a year where I feel he will turn the corner on being a more consistent and discipline Strong Safety.