The Chicago Bears 2011 season saw them get out to a great start at 7-3 before the ship sank on the season. The Bears lost Jay Cutler and Matt Forte in back to back weeks for the rest of the season, and the Chicago Bears ended up finishing the season 8-8 and very disappointed. The Bears made big moves in the offseason acquiring Brandon Marshall, Michael Bush, and Jason Campbell. The new looked Bears offense looks vastly improved, and could put up lot of points this season. The are 4 keys to the Bears going all the way in 2012.
- Can Jay Cutler finally prove himself to be a pro bowl quarterback? The 2012 season gives Cutler his best opportunity to flourish as the Bears starting quarterback now that he finally has a number 1 receiver in Brandon Marshall. Marshall changes the entire offense for the Bears even if he is not catching balls every play. Cutler and Marshall played together in Denver and have instantly found their chemistry again this preseason. Marshall opens up space for Devin Hester, Earl Bennett, and rookie phenom Alshon Jeffery to have great seasons with the defense being forced to spend so much time on Brandon Marshall. Cutler could have a career year in 2012, and he could lead the Bears to his first Super Bowl.
- Can the Bears offensive line keep Cutler healthy? Since Bears veteran center, Olin Kreutz retired, the Bears offensive line has been terrible to say the least. The line showed some promise last season, and the coaching staff has high hopes for the offensive line to keep Cutler safe this season. If the Bears can get a decent effort out of left tackle J’Marcus Webb, then their two strong running backs, and Cutler should be able to have successful seasons. If the Bears line lets them down, then their Super Bowl hopes could be dashed.
- Can Matt Forte and Michael Bush combine for 2,000? After Matt Forte tore his ACL in the 2011 season, the Chicago Bears got themselves an insurance policy running back in Michael Bush from the Oakland Raiders. So now the Bears have Matt Forte who was well on his way to rushing for 1,000 before being injured, and Michael Bush who ran for 977 yards last season for the Raiders. If the Bears can get their two running backs to combine for 2,000 yards, and a decent passing attack, then there should be no way the Bears aren’t battling the Packers to win the Division.
- Will Brian Urlacher be 100% in 2012? Yes Brian Urlacher has missed the entire preseason due to his knee injury, but he is supposed to be starting on opening day. Urlacher has been the face of the Bears defense since being drafted by the Bears in 2000, and the Bears Tampa 2 defense success is key to Urlacher being there at middle linebacker. If the Urlacher can go injury free and be the same Urlacher that he has been for the past 13 seasons, then the Bears defense should be one of the top 10 defenses in the league.
I believe the Bears will go 12-4 this season, win the NFC North, NFC Championship, and make it to the Super Bowl against the Ravens.
Bears pivotal games: Week 2- @ Green Bay, Week 7- Detroit, Week 10- Houston, Week 11-@ San Francisco, Week 15- Green Bay, Week 17 @ Detroit.