NFL Chicago Bears

Predicting the Outcome of Every Chicago Bears Game During 2014 NFL Season

Predicting the Outcome of Every Chicago Bears Game During 2014 NFL Season

Chicago Bears Home Opener
Getty Images

The Chicago Bears finished the 2013 season 8-8 despite having a top-five offense and ending the year second in points scored to only the Denver Broncos. The issue was obviously the defense, which was the probably the second-worst in the entire league. With a lot of moves on that side of the ball, many are predicting the Bears to be a playoff team. But how does their potential road there look? Click through to see my prediction for each game.

Week 1 (0-0): vs. Buffalo Bills

E.J. Manuel Buffalo Bills
Phil Sears-USA TODAY Sports

Week 1 (0-0): vs. Buffalo Bills

E.J. Manuel Buffalo Bills
Phil Sears-USA TODAY Sports

The Bills had a bittersweet offseason where they lost Jairus Byrd and Stevie Johnson, but also brought in No. 4 overall pick Sammy Watkins, who is a potential top-five WR in the league a couple years from now. That said, unless E.J. Manuel takes a monumental step forward, this team will be lucky to be .500. The Bears start the year 1-0.

Prediction: 31 Bears, 17 Bills

Week 2 (1-0): at San Francisco 49ers

Colin Kaepernick San Francisco 49ers
Steven Bisig-USA TODAY Sports

Week 2 (1-0): at San Francisco 49ers

Colin Kaepernick San Francisco 49ers
Steven Bisig-USA TODAY Sports

San Fran is easily one of the top three teams in the NFC along with the Seattle Seahawks and New Orleans Saints. Can the Bears win this game? Maybe ... But it'd take a near-perfect performance. A tough defense will slow down the Bears' offense a bit and the Niners are even more improved on the offensive side of the ball.

Prediction: 49ers 27, Bears 20

Week 3 (1-1): at New York Jets

Rex Ryan New York Jets
Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports

Week 3 (1-1): at New York Jets

Rex Ryan New York Jets
Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports

Gang Green added Eric Decker, Michael Vick and Chris Johnson to the offense, meaning they should be relatively improved from last year, which wouldn't take much. That said, Vick may not even start over Geno Smith and even if he does, he's as fragile as glass. Yes, the Jets have a tough defense, but with no more Darrelle Revis or Antonio Cromartie, their young CBs will struggle against the Bears' elite wideout duo.

Prediction: Bears 24, Jets 19

Week 4 (2-1): vs. Green Bay Packers

Brandon Marshall Chicago Bears
Dennis Wierzbicki-USA TODAY Sports

Week 4 (2-1): vs. Green Bay Packers

Brandon Marshall Chicago Bears
Dennis Wierzbicki-USA TODAY Sports

Since Aaron Rodgers took over, the Packers have had the Bears' number. But this year, the Bears' defense should be much better than the Packers' (trust me, Packers fans, Julius Peppers is not that good anymore) while the offense has finally caught up. As long as Jay Cutler doesn't have his patented once-a-year-god-awful game in this matchup, the Bears will show their improvement.

Prediction: Bears 38, Packers 28

Week 5 (3-1): at Carolina Panthers

Luke Kuechly Carolina Panthers
Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports

Week 5 (3-1): at Carolina Panthers

Luke Kuechly Carolina Panthers
Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports

The Panthers won the division last year, but lost their top two wide receivers in Steve Smith and Brandon Lafell, as well as three of their four starting defensive backs from 2013. They'll still have a dominant front seven, but the losses in other areas may be too much to come back from. The Bears should be able to come away with another win here.

Prediction: Bears 23, Panthers 20

Week 6 (4-1): at Atlanta Falcons

Julio Jones Atlanta Falcons
Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

Week 6 (4-1): at Atlanta Falcons

Julio Jones Atlanta Falcons
Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

There's always the whole, "the Falcons don't lose in the Georgia Dome," thing, but that was before their downfall last year. Everyone thinks they'll get back into the division race in 2014, but I'm not buying it. Their defense is still pathetic and the run game will still be lacking. Julio Jones may be back, but the Bears have solid corners and an improved pass rush to counteract that.

Predictions: Bears 35, Falcons 24

Week 7 (5-1): vs. Miami Dolphins

Ryan Tanehill Miami Dolphins
Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

Week 7 (5-1): vs. Miami Dolphins

Ryan Tanehill Miami Dolphins
Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

Miami choked at the end of last season and missed out on a wild card spot. They're a team that has the potential to be very good, but also very bad any given Sunday, and 8-8 is a realistic expectation for them once again in 2014. This shouldn't be a trap game, but it could be if the Bears look ahead to a tough contest against the New England Patriots.

Prediction: Bears 23, Dolphins 21

Week 8 (6-1): at New England Patriots

Tom Brady New England Patriots
David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports

Week 8 (6-1): at New England Patriots

Tom Brady New England Patriots
David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports

Along with the 49ers, this is the toughest game before the Bears' bye week. The Patriots still have Tom Brady and potentially a healthy Rob Gronkowski. Factor in the improvements made on defense with Darrelle Revis and this team is going to be difficult to take on, especially in Gillette Stadium. The performance the Bears put up in this game will play a big factor in the legitimacy of their success so far.

Prediction: Patriots 34, Bears 24

Week 9 (6-2): Bye Week

Chicago Bears Bye Week
David Banks-USA TODAY Sports

Week 9 (6-2): Bye Week

Chicago Bears Bye Week
David Banks-USA TODAY Sports

If the Bears are as good as they look on paper and avoid major injuries, they should be right around the 6-2 mark -- 5-3 at worst -- at the bye. That is, if they're an actual playoff contender this year like they appear to be. After having only three home games in their first eight, the Bears will enjoy five games at Soldier Field in the latter half of the season. However, they have rough schedule with five divisional games.

Week 10 (6-2): at Green Bay Packers

Chicago Bears at Green Bay Packers
Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

Week 10 (6-2): at Green Bay Packers

Chicago Bears at Green Bay Packers
Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

At this point in the season, divisional supremacy in the NFC North should still be up for grabs, so every game will be important. However, home-field advantage should play a big role in this one as I just don't see the Bears having much of a shot at sweeping Green Bay this year, or any time in the near future.

Prediction: Packers 31, Bears 27

Week 11 (6-3): vs. Minnesota Vikings

Adrian Peterson Minnesota Vikings
Jerry Lai-USA TODAY Sports

Week 11 (6-3): vs. Minnesota Vikings

Adrian Peterson Minnesota Vikings
Jerry Lai-USA TODAY Sports

The Vikings will likely be starting Matt Cassel until they become completely irrelevant. If they're lucky and hovering around .500, he could still be the guy at this point. That said, they just don't have enough to hang with any of the top three teams in the North. Their defense is pitiful and other than Greg Jennings, Cordarrelle Patterson and Adrian Peterson, there's not too much to like about there chances.

Prediction: Bears 45, Vikings 13

Week 12 (7-3): vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Lovie Smith Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Week 12 (7-3): vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Lovie Smith Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

In his first season back as a head coach, Lovie Smith will return to his former home with the Bucs. Tampa is certainly improved on offense with Mike Evans and Josh McCown, and the defense was solid last year, but they'll still only be a .500 team. Both sides will have motivation to play well and win this one for their head coaches, so it should be a good game.

Prediction: Bears 28, Buccaneers 24

Week 13 (8-3): at Detroit Lions

Matthew Stafford Detroit Lions
Tim Fuller-USA TODAY Sports

Week 13 (8-3): at Detroit Lions

Matthew Stafford Detroit Lions
Tim Fuller-USA TODAY Sports

The biggest question mark with Detroit and their run for a playoff birth will be there defense. Their secondary is scary bad, and the front four, though extremely talented, is very undisciplined. How Jim Caldwell's presence affects the discipline issue will be one of the most decisive factors in their success this year. Regardless, the Bears match up pretty well. However, they won't get it done in this one.

Prediction: Lions 30, Bears 23

Week 14 (8-4): vs. Dallas Cowboys

Tony Romo Dallas Cowboys
Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports

Week 14 (8-4): vs. Dallas Cowboys

Tony Romo Dallas Cowboys
Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports

The Bears have had the Cowboys' number in recent years, and that shouldn't change in this matchup. The Cowboys are still going to be very good on offense, but their defense will be even worse than last year after losing Jason Hatcher (free agency), DeMarcus Ware (cut) and Sean Lee (ACL tear). Expect a similar result to 2013's late-season matchup where the Bears won 46-28.

Prediction: Bears 41, Cowboys 20

Week 15 (9-4): vs. New Orleans Saints

Drew Brees Charles Tillman
Rob Grabowski-USA TODAY Sports

Week 15 (9-4): vs. New Orleans Saints

Drew Brees Charles Tillman
Rob Grabowski-USA TODAY Sports

As stated earlier, the Saints are one of the top three teams in the NFC with Seattle and San Francisco. Yes, the Bears are home, but this will be an extremely difficult matchup regardless. Chicago will need to play its best game of the year to come out on top, but I don't see that happening.

Prediction: Saints 37, Bears 27

Week 16 (9-5): vs. Detroit Lions

Calvin Johnson Charles Tillman
Matt Marton-USA TODAY Sports

Week 16 (9-5): vs. Detroit Lions

Calvin Johnson Charles Tillman
Matt Marton-USA TODAY Sports

This is the game where the Bears get their revenge, and in a really big way. After getting swept in 2013 and then losing the first game in Detroit this season, the Bears finally put it to the Lions and most likely knock them out of the NFC North race, depending upon how well the Packers are playing.

Predictions: Bears 45, Lions 17

Week 17 (10-5): at Minnesota Vikings

Teddy Bridgewater Minnesota Vikings
Bruce Kluckhohn-USA TODAY Sports

Week 17 (10-5): at Minnesota Vikings

Teddy Bridgewater Minnesota Vikings
Bruce Kluckhohn-USA TODAY Sports

By this time, I would be 100 percent shocked if Teddy Bridgewater wasn't starting. That said, the newness of it should be worn off by this time and reality will have set in for the rookie ... Which is that he's just a rookie. He'll be more exciting to watch than Cassel, but the defense is still trash and it won't matter in the season finale.

Prediction: Bears 31, Vikings 21

2014 Results: 11-5, Playoff Birth

Brandon Marshall Alshon Jeffery
Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports

2014 Results: 11-5, Playoff Birth

Brandon Marshall Alshon Jeffery
Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports

Since I saw the schedule come out a few months ago and then witnessed the Bears' moves in free agency and the draft, 11-5 has always been my prediction. The Bears are going to give up their fair share of points, but they're gonna lay it on opposing defenses as well. The only difference is their own defense should be middle-of-the-pack this year instead of second-worst in the league. At 11-5, they should be NFC North champs.

Brian Neal is an NFL and NBA contributor for RantSports.com. Follow him on Twitter @brianneal23, “Like” him on Facebook and add him on Google+.