Uphill Battle: This doesn't bode well for the Bears in 2014

Discussion in 'Chicago Bears' started by BelieveInMonsters, May 29, 2014.

  1. BelieveInMonsters

    BelieveInMonsters Veteran

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    In his latest article, Gil Brandt goes over the 8-8 teams from last year. He gives his opinions on which of these teams will improve, stay the same, or decline:

    http://www.nfl.com/news/story/0ap20...ams-cowboys-will-slip-while-bears-should-soar

    Granted he gives the Bears the best positive win differential from last year at +2 (10 wins) of any of the 8-8 teams from last year, this little tidbit caught my eye and tells me that we're in for an uphill battle in 2014 (especially with our tough schedule):

    "History hasn't been especially kind to 8-8 teams. Of the 22 teams that posted .500 records from 2008 to 2012, just six improved the following season (and just three of those made the playoffs), while five teams stayed at 8-8. Half, meanwhile, did worse. And 10 of the 22 squads failed to win more than six games. Of course, that isn't to say you can't get anywhere from 8-8 -- three of the past 14 Super Bowl-winning teams had .500 records the year before (the 2009 New Orleans Saints, the 2007New York Giants and the 2000 Baltimore Ravens)."
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  2. Ski-Whiz

    Ski-Whiz George Halas Staff Member

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    Vegas also says SuperBowl champs will repeat the next year.

    Honestly, this guy isn't looking at something right.

    Look at the needs the team had, the off-season moves to fill them.

    - Our Offense is returning. I mean they are all back.
    - Our Defense has so much attention you'd think it was open heart surgery with all the people being thrown at it.
    - The players seem to be over Lovie. <<<----- This is HUGE IMO. I think last year there was sour apples and loyalty to him. I don't feel their heads were in the game. Especially on the defensive side. Now with Trestman in his second year, and his short track record of fixing the most broken part of the Bears since the 80's, the team seems to believe he is elite in the making!
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  3. riczaj01

    riczaj01 DaBears Ditka DBS Writer

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    Ski, but nothing happens in a vacuum, Ya the Bears got vastly better, but did any of the NFC teams that were ahead of them last year fall back; or at least stay stagnant? How did the teams just behind them do; did they do better?

    Ya the Bears are vastly improved, but that's not the sole indicator of how a team does in the season.
  4. Ski-Whiz

    Ski-Whiz George Halas Staff Member

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    Without including any other teams, we are the only team that will win +2 games? How is that possible? Naturally most 8-8 teams will 2-3+ games or even worse.

    I'm just saying this guy isn't saying much. It almost seems like he is playing it safe.
  5. sluggobear

    sluggobear Veteran

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    Everybody has a right to their opinion. Sometimes their opinion is way off track like Gil Brandt's prediction. The Bears will definitely beat 8-8, if they don't run into injury issues.
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  6. BelieveInMonsters

    BelieveInMonsters Veteran

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    Let's take a look at who got better in the NFC North:

    Green Bay-- if they can stay healthy their offense will be good as usual. Defense will be better by default because players will be returning from injuries. Added key players via the draft on both offense and defense.

    Detroit--An already high-powered offense got even better with the additions of Tate and Ebron in the passing game. Made no key additions to the defense that cost them the division in 2013. This is especially true for a very weak secondary. Shootouts may be in this teams' future.

    Minnesota-- They may be the dark horse in the NFC North. A lot of fans and so-called experts (myself included) have been overlooking the Vikings. They made key additions in both free agency and the draft on the defensive side of the football. QB is a concern but Teddy Bridgewater may be the solution to the issue there. Norv Turner may be a boon to Jumpstart an inconsistent offense.
  7. riczaj01

    riczaj01 DaBears Ditka DBS Writer

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    he went back and looked at teams over the past and saw what they did when they were 8-8, he's not so much playing it safe as he is saying this is what has happened in the recent past.

    saying that isn't accurate b/c of the BEARS additions in FA and the draft is ignoring the fact that all the key teams in the NFC also improved; and there is no way to definately say that the Bears improved enough to leap the other top NFLteams.
  8. soulman

    soulman Pro-Bowler SuperFan DBS Writer

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    The entire division got better as far as personnel goes but in the case of Minny and Detroit both have new coaches who'll be in the same process of installing new systems as the Bears were last year. I see that as something that hampers their ability to reach the playoffs in their first year in the same way that it did with the Bears. The only reason we even got a sniff of it last year was GB losing Rodgers for as long as they did. Put him back on the field and GB would have run away with the NFCN.

    Although I think 10-6 is a fair prediction of how the Bears might finish this year (we have a tough first 8 games) a backward look at what other 8-8 teams have done the following year isn't all that useful as far as a predictor goes at least not without far more data. The single biggest factor that kept the Bears from a playoff spot last year was the defense. We all admit that. With even a middle of the road defense we would easily have won two more games and possibly three so to me last year was an outlier based primarily on an unbelievable number of key injuries and lack of depth.

    Were we really an 8-8 team or were we already a 10-6 team who struggled to close out games because of the injuries on defense and the confusion caused by too many inexperienced players who weren't able to cope as starters? It's pretty rare that the second most potent offense in the NFL would finish in the middle of the pack unless there was an outlier of some sort that caused it. We scored often enough we just couldn't stop the other guys from doing the same and it cost us wins.

    Few teams have ever made the moves to improve on one side of the ball that the Bears have made this offseason. We signed four FA DEs all of whom are in the top 50 in the NFL (even Izzy), three are rated in the top 20 and two in the top ten. That's a pretty serious upgrade in talent right there. We added two high draft picks at DT to go along with the three quality vets we had including one whose a former four time Pro Bowler. We have two Pro Bowl CBs and added a rookie CB in the 1st round and we've added significant youth to the LB core over the past two off seasons and have one aging but still very good perennial Pro Bowl LB there.

    I've been watching the Bears play for over 40 years and I've never seen this kind of offseason transformation take shape. If we don't finish any better than 8-8 this coming year it won't be because we lack the defensive personnel we needed to improve upon last years performance. The offense also returns intact so there's no reason to believe they'll play any worse than they did in 2013. Despite a rough schedule and 8-8 finish would be very disappointing to everyone. This team has the talent to compete with other playoff caliber teams. They just need to put it together and turn those inexcusable 2013 losses into wins.
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  9. JustAnotherBearsFan99

    JustAnotherBearsFan99 Coordinator SuperFan DBS Writer

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    8-8 can mean a team is on the way up or down. We are a team on the way up. Even this guy "gets it" about that. No worries. It should be a great year to be a Bears fan.
  10. jackiejokeman

    jackiejokeman Pro-Bowler

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    CHICAGO BEARS : ON PAPER it looks too good to be true.

    ON THE FIELD : Jack em with an option pass ... they NEVER expect that from us anymore.

    Time to get back to normal , ala , Sweetness.

    If we got only a top 15 Defense and keep a top 5 Offense ... then we are players.

    If we getter better then a top 15 Defense and keep a top 5 Offense ...then we arent players ,

    we're hunters. We can dictate policy.
  11. soulman

    soulman Pro-Bowler SuperFan DBS Writer

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  12. DavidL

    DavidL Pro-Bowler SuperFan

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    Barring a wave of injuries to key players, I will be very surprised if the Bears are not at least 10-6 this year. The offense should be at least as good as last year, and the DL is upgraded.
  13. Blue Horse-shoe

    Blue Horse-shoe Veteran

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    Yeah but the other teams have had a year to dissect the Bears new ' O " also .... so don't expect it to be automatic . The whole team has to be better for them to truly improve . I suspect it'll take some time and they might be 4-4 over the first 8 . It's what happens after that that will be key .
  14. soulman

    soulman Pro-Bowler SuperFan DBS Writer

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    I expect Trestman will have added some new twists but for the most part what they have to do is execute well and not give the ball up. That and keep drives ending in six as opposed to a FG. Those are killers in close games.

    The defense needs to stand up like a kid who got punched in the nose and punch back. When you look at that line you see that none of those guys were really involved in that mess last year. Collins went down early, Paea was hurt and missed a lot of snaps and Ratliff never played until the last few games. The rest are all gone so no bad memories. This is the A team now.
  15. Chicago_66

    Chicago_66 Veteran

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    Lets hope our offense follows the 09 Saints trend and the D goes the route of the 07 G-Men.
  16. Jimmors

    Jimmors The Rhymenoceros Staff Member SuperFan

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    Oh my gosh...history hasnt been kind to 8-8 teams. Pack it up boys, season is over, no sense in playing now.
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  17. JustAnotherBearsFan99

    JustAnotherBearsFan99 Coordinator SuperFan DBS Writer

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    They still should play the games, but folks probably should get rid of their season tickets. In fact, I'll step up and take them off folks hands as a service to those who don't want to go on after an 8-8 season. Don't worry about paying me for this. It's the least I can do to help those who are grieving over last season. :lol 027:
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  18. BSBEARS

    BSBEARS Pro-Bowler

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    The nice thing about having an offensive minded HC is they create plays to dictate the defense. By the end of last year teams knew what we were doing they just could not stop it regularly. From a single play we can have the receivers run multiple routes based on how the defense reacts during the play. They have keys to read and when the see it they know what they need to do. I am not an expert and Butkus who played college ball could probably explain this better than I but if a S runs up to the middle to cover a TE the WR runs to where the S vacated or an area the S can no longer cover since he left his position.

    There is a lot of read and react along with set short passing plays where blockers are moved in place to assist after the catch. I believe it was PFT who had B Marshall of the charts with his downfield blocking. I do not remember the exact numbers but good receivers were +6 or so and Marshall was like +18. He was basically an anomaly and off the charts.

    In conclusion I believe our offense will react to whatever the defense throws at us. We will be in the second year with more options, I read somewhere this off season they have gone through the playbook and pulled some of the plays that were not as effective and added some new plays and wrinkles to the existing plays which they felt played to our strength. If we stay healthy we will be fine, the line needs to continue to improve which most cohesive lines do and our skilled players need to stay healthy, we have solid backups everywhere except possibly TE, and if Onobun has improved maybe we are covered there. Another thread is covering the TE situation so no need to repeat it here.
  19. BSBEARS

    BSBEARS Pro-Bowler

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    Just share them tickets JABF, I am willing to do my share as well.
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