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NFL Chicago Bears

5 Reasons Why the Chicago Bears Won’t Win the NFC North in 2014

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Chicago Bears: 5 Reasons Why They Won't Win the NFC North in 2014

Chicago Bears Won't Win 2014 NFC North
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After a busy and seemingly productive offseason, many have the Chicago Bears challenging for the NFC North crown in 2014. There is certainly reason for optimism, but the team also has a number of red flags surrounding it that may once again prevent the Bears from taking the division. Here are 5 reasons why Chicago will not win the NFC North in 2014.

5. Lamarr Houston Proves to Be Underwhelming

Lamarr Houston Chicago Bears
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5. Lamarr Houston Proves to Be Underwhelming

Lamarr Houston Chicago Bears
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Lamarr Houston was a huge signing in free agency due to his versatility, having the ability to defend the run exceptionally well in addition to providing consistent pressure on opposing quarterbacks. If Houston disappoints on either of those fronts — which happened to be Chicago's two biggest problems on defense last season — then the Bears are in serious trouble.

4. Lance Briggs Declines or Can't Stay On the Field

Lance Briggs Chicago Bears
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4. Lance Briggs Declines or Can't Stay On the Field

Lance Briggs Chicago Bears
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Chicago's defense was all kinds of terrible in 2013 when Lance Briggs sat out with an injury, and the Bears can't afford to lose him again for any sort of extended time this season. The team is counting pretty heavily on a 34-year-old; Briggs is the signal caller on defense and one of the team's most important players. It is vital that he manages to continue playing at a high level all throughout 2014, but that is unlikely for a host of reasons.

3. The Schedule

Chicago Bears Tough Schedule
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3. The Schedule

Chicago Bears Tough Schedule
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The Bears have a ton of difficult games on the docket. Visits to the San Francisco 49ers, Carolina Panthers, Atlanta Falcons, New England Patriots and Green Bay Packers will all be incredibly tough games. Home affairs with the Packers and New Orleans Saints will also be difficult to scratch a win out of.

2. A Jay Cutler Injury Spells Doom

Jay Cutler Injury Chicago Bears
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2. A Jay Cutler Injury Spells Doom

Jay Cutler Injury Chicago Bears
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Josh McCown was a revelation in Marc Trestman's offense last year, but there doesn't seem to be any capable backup for Jay Cutler hanging around this time. If Cutler goes down with an injury — which he has in each of the last four seasons — it looks like the Bears will have to rely on Jordan Palmer, Jimmy Clausen or David Fales.

1. The Green Bay Packers

Aaron Rodgers Green Bay Packers
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1. The Green Bay Packers

Aaron Rodgers Green Bay Packers
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The team that plays in Green Bay is the ultimate reason why the Bears won't win the NFC North in 2014. It would be foolish to bet against Aaron Rodgers, whose Packers scrapped their way into the playoffs even after losing him for half the season in 2013 (which probably won't happen again).

Sean Sarcu is a Chicago Blackhawks writer for RantSports.com. Follow him on Twitter or add him to your network on Google.