I’ve already made early predictions on the Bears’ 2014 schedule, but that was before I knew which games would be played when. Now that we know, I think the Bears start out hot (like usual), then fade in the later half (like usual), but pull through in the end (unlike usual) for a possible wild card spot.
Week 1: Home vs. Buffalo
Win. The Bears play well in home openers, especially if that team is as good (or bad) as Buffalo.
Week 2: At San Francisco (Sunday Night Football)
Lose. The Niners are opening their new stadium this week and it’s historically a tough place to win. I predict the game will be close, but San Fran’s defense is stout enough to stop Chicago’s offense at home.
Week 3: At New York Jets (Monday Night Football)
Win. Chicago will rebound from a tough loss to overpower the less talented Jets. The Jets are good on Monday night…when they’re playing the Dolphins.
Week 4: Home vs. Green Bay
Win. Despite Jay Cutler’s less-than-stellar record against Green Bay, I think the Bears take this game. If this game was in December, I’d probably have a different opinion.
Week 5: At Carolina
Win. Who knows how healthy Cam Newton will be at this point, not to mention, Carolina decided to have a clearance sale on offensive talent this offseason. The Bears will score too much for SuperCam to keep up.
Week 6: At Atlanta
Win. This game is tricky for me to pick since Atlanta is good one year and wins four games the next. Despite their bad season last year and being due to be good once again, I don’t believe they’ve made enough moves to keep up with a revamped Bears defense and stop their offense.
Week 7: Home vs. Miami
Win. The Dolphins were similar to the Bears last year, i.e. choked the playoffs away in their final two games. This game is a toss-up for me, but the coin landed on tails (never fails), so I’m going with the home team.
Week 8: At New England
Lose. Do I need to explain this? Top three toughest places to win in the NFL.
Midseason round-up: The Bears are 6-2, well on their way to a playoff berth. However, we’ve seen this happen before…
Week 9: Bye
Week 10: At Green Bay (Sunday Night Football)
Lose. The Bears play better on prime time in Green Bay, which is why this game should be very close. If Aaron Rogers is healthy for this game, I don’t see the Bears sweeping. Chicago sweeps Green Bay about as often as the Browns make the playoffs.
Week 11: Home vs. Minnesota
Win. The Melton for Allen swap should work out in Chicago’s favor for this game, despite Allen being a bit older. Plus, the Vikings will be starting (insert sub-par quarterback here).
Week 12: Home vs. Tampa Bay
Lose. The only game I’ve seen at Soldier Field was when Coach Ditka returned with the Saints and beat the Bears in a preseason game. Call me irrational and superstitious, but I feel like Lovie and McCown are going to stick it to the Bears in their return to Chicago.
Week 13: At Detroit (Thanksgiving Day)
Lose. Ladies and gentleman, welcome to Chicago’s rough patch of the season. Detroit is by no means bulletproof on Thanksgiving, but Chicago hasn’t played well in the Motor City in recent years. I predict a shootout and an ejection for Ndamukong Suh, because he’s a piece of crap. Hopefully he assaults someone other than Cutler or Forte or B-Marsh or Jeffrey.
Week 14: Home vs. Dallas (Thursday Night Football)
Win. The game’s on December 4th, therefore, Dallas should forfeit now for an extra buy week to prepare for their final three games in which they’ll lose two and finish 8-8 to miss the playoffs.
Week 15: Home vs. New Orleans (Monday Night Football)
Lose. Trestman’s an offensive guru, but he’s still not on Peyton’s level. This point fest goes to the boys from the Big Easy.
Week 16: Home vs. Detroit
Win. This game is pure revenge for a close loss on Turkey Day, Suh’s dirty play and last year’s loss to the Lions at home.
Week 17: Home vs. Minnesota
Win. This year the Bears win their last two in order to clinch a playoff spot.
Let’s just pray that the playoff situation in the NFC is different from last year when Arizona missed the playoffs at 10-6.