It's nice to see NFL analysts actually see the light on Chicago. :smile:
Bears, Chargers, Panthers could be next season's Giants
The Giants did not make the playoffs in 2010 ... and then won the Super Bowl the following season. You know what's coming next. Of the 20 teams that missed the playoffs in 2011, which one has the best chance at taking home the Lombardi Trophy at Super Bowl XLVII next February in New Orleans?
Steve Wyche [NFL.com]: Bears headed in the right direction
If Jay Cutler stays healthy, I'm rolling with the Bears. Chicago was really gaining traction before Cutler got hurt, even with a serious lack of big-play receivers and issues on the back end of the defense.
With Phil Emery now in charge of football operations, I believe they'll take care of running back Matt Forte contractually and finally get Cutler some needed receiving threats. Brian Urlacher and Lance Briggs don't have much longer to seize the opportunity to win a Super Bowl. Neither does Julius Peppers.
The Bears will have a tough charge to get to the playoffs with Green Bay and Detroit in the same division, but with Cutler on the verge of entering star status, they have to be viewed as a legit threat.
Jason Smith [NFL.com]: If Jay Cutler stays healthy, Bears can do it
I think the Bears could have been in the Super Bowl this season if Jay Cutler didn't get injured. They finally put Cutler in the best position to win midway through the season and they went on a roll until he broke his thumb. The defense is still very good and can dominate as long as it's not asked to do too much. We talked a lot about how, being hurt, Peyton Manning was the real MVP, but how about the Bears without Cutler and their visit to Nosedive City?
Of course a lot of this depends on Matt Forte's situation. But if he's back and healthy, look out. The Bears have always been a team greater than their individual parts. They find a way to compete and win big games that they're "out-talented" in. They have all the necessary pieces. (Not that they shouldn't still try to get a star receiver to make things easier, though ...)