Here’s an early look at how I think the 2010 Bears will fare.
Week 1 – Sunday, Sept. 12 – Noon
Detroit Lions @ Chicago Bears
Prediction: Bears 27, Lions 13
Analysis: After five straight seasons of opening their regular season on the road, the Bears will finally open up with a home game, and a winnable one at that. Although the Lions showed improvement last year and will once again be a better team this year, I think the Bears pound them in impressive fashion to kick off the season right.
Week 2 – Sunday, Sept. 19 – Noon
Chicago Bears @ Dallas Cowboys
Prediction: Cowboys 24, Bears 17
Analysis: The difference here will be the defense. The Cowboys have had a steady defense for the past several years while the Bears are still missing some key pieces, mainly in the secondary. Dallas should come out on top thanks to a superior unit.
Week 3 – Monday, Sept. 27 – 7:30 p.m.
Green Bay Packers @ Chicago Bears
Prediction: Bears 27, Packers 24
Analysis: As most Bears-Packers games will be during the Rodgers-Cutler era, this one should be a close game with the home team getting the nod thanks to a late Robbie Gould field goal.
Week 4 – Sunday, Oct. 3 – 7:20 p.m.
Chicago Bears @ New York Giants
Prediction: Giants 21, Bears 16
Analysis: Robbie Gould scores most of the points for the Bears in this one as several of their offensive drives stall against a fired up Giants defense in the Giants’ new stadium.
Week 5 – Sunday, Oct. 10 – Noon
Chicago Bears @ Carolina Panthers
Prediction: Bears 24, Panthers 14
Analysis: Without a proven quarterback, the Panthers will have to rely on their run game to get them most of their wins this season and if the Bears jump out to an early lead, it’ll render the run game helpless. Peppers will have a nice game against his former team.
Week 6 – Sunday, Oct. 17 – Noon
Seattle Seahawks @ Chicago Bears
Prediction: Bears 27, Seahawks 14
Analysis: The Seahawks continue to be in a state of disarray and new coach Pete Carroll will be reconsidering his move from USC to the Big League, if not by this point, sometime around midseason.
Week 7 – Sunday, Oct. 24 – Noon
Washington Redskins @ Chicago Bears
Prediction: Bears 23, Redskins 17
Analysis: Donovan McNabb doesn’t have the weapons in Washington that he had in Philadelphia, so I’m not afraid of this Redskins team like some members of the Chicago media appear to be. I think Peppers plays well against his former division rival quarterback and team.
Week 8 – Sunday, Oct. 31
Week 9 – Sunday, Nov. 7 – Noon
Chicago Bears @ Buffalo Bills (in Toronto)
Prediction: Bears 24, Buffalo 20
Analysis: I like the way the Bills’ defense played at times last year but their offense has big problems. I think this game might be close due to an inspired defensive effort from Buffalo, but the Bears should pull out the road win.
Week 10 – Sunday, Nov. 14 – Noon
Minnesota Vikings @ Chicago Bears
Prediction: Bears 27, Minnesota 23
Analysis: I believe Favre will return for another season, but even so I like the Bears to defend their home field in this one. Assuming both teams are healthy — always a big if — this game should come down to the wire.
Week 11 – Thursday, Nov. 18 – 7:20 p.m.
Chicago Bears @ Miami Dolphins
Prediction: Dolphins 20, Bears 14
Analysis: This game has disappointment written all over it. Riding high after their victory over the Vikings, the Bears will travel to Miami just four days later for this Thursday night game and might struggle with Miami’s niche offense.
Week 12 – Sunday, Nov. 28 – Noon
Philadelphia Eagles @ Chicago Bears
Prediction: Bears 24, Philadelphia 16
Analysis: The Eagles are relying on Vick or Kolb to usher this franchise into the next phase, but I think it was a mistake for them to get rid of McNabb and let Westbrook go. The Bears should take this one.
Week 13 – Sunday, Dec. 5 – Noon
Chicago Bears @ Detroit Lions
Prediction: Bears 28, Detroit 21
Analysis: Detroit is likely to keep this game close, as I think they’ll be a better team than last year, but I don’t think they’re good enough yet to beat this Bears bunch.
Week 14 – Sunday, Dec. 12 – Noon
New England Patriots @ Chicago Bears
Prediction: Patriots 27, Bears 17
Analysis: My hunch is that Cutler’s competitiveness might get the better of him as he tries to out-duel Tom Brady. Brady will give Cutler a lesson or two on quarterbacking. I expect Cutler to make some nice plays in this one, but possibly some costly interceptions as well.
Week 15 – Monday, Dec. 20 – 7:30 p.m.
Chicago Bears @ Minnesota Vikings
Prediction: Vikings 30, Bears 24
Analysis: The Bears have only won twice in Minnesota in the last decade. It’s a difficult place to play and this Vikings team is too good for that trend to likely change this year.
Week 16 – Sunday, Dec. 26 – Noon
New York Jets @ Chicago Bears
Prediction: Bears 23, Jets 20
Analysis: This game has slugfest written all over it. Everyone was wowed by the Jets’ run to, and through, the playoffs last year, but I’m not at all impressed by Mark Sanchez. I like the Jets’ defense, but I’m not scared of the addition of LaDainian Tomlinson. These are the types of games that the Bears pull off.
Week 17 – Sunday, Jan. 2 – Noon
Chicago Bears @ Green Bay Packers
Prediction: Packers 23, Bears 17
Analysis: The only way I see the Bears winning this game is if they’re in close contention for a playoff spot and the Packers are either out of the running or have already secured a playoff spot. The Bears could struggle on the road here and close out the season with a loss.
Final Record: 10-6