Chicago Bears vs. Cincinnati Bengals Free Pick - 9/8/13
Cincinnati Bengals (0-0) at Chicago Bears (0-0)
NFL Football: Sunday, September 8, 2013 at 1:00 pm (Soldier Field)
The Line: Chicago Bears -3 -- Over/Under: 45 See the Latest Odds
The Cincinnati Bengals kick off the seaon on the road at Soldier Field versus the Chicago Bears.
It wasn't all that long ago that Cincinnati was something of an after thought in the AFC North. Part of that was because the Bengals weren't a real good team and part of it was the division was also home to Baltimore and Pittsburgh which needs no further explanation. It also wasn't all that long ago that head coach Marvin Lewis was on the hot seat, however both he and the organization have drafted well and it shows. Quarterback Andy Dalton leads the offense which has vast potential with AJ Green totaling 1,350 receiving yards while tight end Jermaine Gresham hauled in 64 balls for 737 yards. If the game plan calls for some running, BenJarvis Green-Ellis will fit the bill nicely with nearly 1,100 rushing yards last season. The defense can rush the quarterback and stop the run so logic says that pressure in the pocket will make the Bengals tougher to throw on.
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The Bears 10-6 record a year ago was not enough to make the postseason and that cost Lovie Smith his job and now Marc Trestman inherits a team that isn't to far away based on their 2012 accomplishments. Jay Cutler will get his shot at running Aaron Kromer's West Coast attack which says a higher completion rate is required with a better 19/14 touchdown to interception ratio as well. Brandon Marshall is as good as it gets at wide receiver with 118 catches for over 1,500 yards and he will approach or exceed those numbers if a banged up hip doesn't limit him. The back field also has a star in Matt Forte who can hurt opposing defenses with his abiity to both run and catch which should be a good fit for the West Coast offensive style. Forte ran for nearly 1,100 yards and caught 44 passes for another 340 yards which are numbers well within his grasp. The front four is solid defensively and the secondary has playmakers but Brian Urlacher is gone so the linebacking crew is a unit to watch.
The Bengals are loaded on both sides of the ball but the Bears could be a tough foe at home road with their new offensive style. I think the Bears have a decent shot here but those points are calling my name...