The Chicago Bears have not made the playoffs in five straight seasons and nothing changed with coach John Fox taking over the team. The Bears have won just 19 games the last three seasons and are struggling to keep up in the improved NFC North.
What does this season hold?
Here is your 2016 Chicago Bears NFL preview.
Key Player Losses: Offensively, the Bears lost tight end Martellus Bennett, offensive lineman Matt Slauson and Jermon Bushrod, and of course, running back Matt Forte. Forte has been the heart of Chicago’s offense for years and leaves second on the team in all-time rushing yards only behind Walter Payton. Defensively, linebacker Shea McClellin leaves for New England after four seasons with the Bears and finishing second on the team in tackles, while defensive lineman Jarvis Jenkins bolts for New York after one season.
Key Player Additions: The Bears really addressed the linebacker position by bringing in Danny Trevathan and Jerrell Freeman, and experienced duo that will anchor down the second line of defense. Right tackle Bobby Massie is also a solid pickup for the Bears subpar offensive line, as he started 46 games for the Arizona Cardinals. Also, while Jay Cutler is still the man, Brian Hoyer is a decent backup and helps settle the Bears QB issues for the time being.
Draft: The Bears needed more defensive help and Leonard Floyd is a versatile linebacker who can rush the passer and is comfortable in pass coverage. Cody Whitehair is a smart and consistent offensive lineman while defensive end Jonathan Bullard has terrific upside and will have a better pro career than he did at Florida. I’m also a big fan of running back Jordan Howard, as he sees the field well and can make plays in space. Terrific value for the fifth round.
Outlook: The Chicago Bears are still going to be that mediocre team in the NFC North. There’s still questions along the offensive line and Cutler has yet to put together a season that can make a difference. Also, the Bears defense is no longer that Bears defense your grandfather knew and loved. There’s going to be growing pains with this roster and it doesn’t help they’re playing the Vikings and Packers twice a year. I give the Bears six or seven wins and a missed playoff appearance for the sixth straight season.
Chicago Bears 2016 Schedule:
Sept. 11, at Houston Texans, 12:00
Sept. 19, Philadelphia Eagles (Mon), 7:30
Sept. 25, at Dallas Cowboys, 7:30
Oct. 2, Detroit Lions, 12:00
Oct. 9, at Indianapolis Colts, 12:00
Oct. 16, Jacksonville Jaguars, 12:00
Oct. 20, at Green Bay Packers (Thu), 7:25
Oct. 31, Minnesota Vikings (Mon), 7:30
Nov. 13, at Tampa Bay Buccaneers, 12:00
Nov. 20, at New York Giants, 12:00
Nov. 27, Tennessee Titans, 12:00
Dec. 4, San Francisco 49ers, 12:00
Dec. 11, at Detroit Lions, 12:00
Dec. 18, Green Bay Packers, 12:00
Dec. 24, Washington Redskins (Sat), 12:00
Jan. 1, at Minnesota Vikings, 12:00