How the Bears Can Win NFC North Again

Jay Cutler offensive line 1.jpgWhen I read the headline, I thought to myself, "What's this? An analyst that thinks the Bears can win the North again? This is music to my ears!"

NFL.com analyst, Elliot Harrison, highlights these keys to the Bears' success:

  • Jay Cutler has "top-five quarterback talent and made strides from his interception-happy campaign of 2009."
  • Harrison also likes the Bears' selection of tackle Gabe Carimi in the first round of the draft.
  • The Bears have "the most dangerous return man in the history of the league (Devin Hester).
  • Great leadership on defense.
  • Clutch players.
  • One of the most versatile backs in the league (Matt Forte).

While all this is true and what Harrison really thinks is that the Bears AREN'T going to win:

  • The Lions have gotten better. The Bears aren't sweeping them this season.
  • Chicago could very well open up 0-3 facing Atlanta, New Orleans and Green Bay in successive weeks.
  • Until that offensive line gets better, getting to 10 wins will be a stiff challenge.
  • There's still no wideout on this team that scares anyone.
  • I don't see Green Bay getting any worse; in fact they might go 12-4. So, Winning the NFC North again is probably not going to happen.

This is not to say they are going to tank. I just don't see Chicago winning the division, and certainly not hosting the NFC Championship Game again. I think 8-8 or 9-7 is a good bet.

What do I think? Of course the Bears are going to win the division. They still have that bad taste in their mouth from the NFC title game especially since it was against the Packers; Cutler will be on a mission from all the criticism he's received; and Lovie Smith understands the importance of the rivalry with the Packers as he has mentioned this throughout his career.

http://www.chicagobears.com/news/NewsStory.asp?STORY_ID=7930

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