With the NFL season set to get officially underway on Sunday, predictions for the upcoming season have been rolling in from the experts, writers and fans. Many of those predictions have one thing in common: they lack a memorable season from the Chicago Bears.
Despite high expectations within the Windy City, the majority of predictions among the higher profile analysts and writers have included the Green Bay Packers or San Francisco 49ers bound for the Super Bowl this season. The two are obvious NFC powers and deserve those types of expectations. But where’s the love for the Bears?
The Bears made impressive additions to their roster this summer, with new general manager Phil Emery wasting no time adding some pieces around Jay Cutler. He added Brandon Marshall and Alshon Jeffery to the passing game while signing Michael Bush to team up with Matt Forte in an elite Bears backfield.
Despite those additions, as well as the fact that the Bears still have a top defense and elite special teams, the expectations around the country for the Bears haven’t been too high. This pretty much indicates that this is a team flying under the radar for many outside of Chicago right now. That’s not necessarily a bad thing.
Expectations were not very high for the Bears in 2011, but they caught fire behind Cutler and looked bound for the postseason before the injuries completely derailed the season. Even with the additions to the offense, that meltdown is very likely holding the Bears back in the preseason ranks, to some degree.
It obviously doesn’t mean much, but does indicate that if the Bears want nationwide respect, they’ll have to earn it. On paper, they may be very improved, but they’re going to have to show it on the field. That starts on Sunday when they host the Indianapolis Colts at Soldier Field.