Chicago Bears 2012 NFL Season Preview, Predictions

Chicago Bears
2011 record: 8-8 (Third in NFC North)

Fearless Forecast

  • Bucky Brooks

    Jay Cutler finally has a pair of big, physical playmakers (Brandon Marshall and Alshon Jeffery) to target in the passing game, while Michael Bush joins Matt Forte to form a dynamic 1-2 combination in the backfield. With a defense that is still championship-caliber, the Bears will make a play at the division crown.
    Prediction: 11-5, second in NFC North

  • Daniel Jeremiah

    The Bears were playing great football before Jay Cutler got hurt last year. The new additions at receiver should have an immediate impact. There is some age on defense, but I don?t expect to see much drop off in play.
    Prediction: 9-7, tied for second in NFC North

  • Adam Schein

    I'm buying this team. Jay Cutler is healthy. Pass-happy Mike Martz is nowhere near the coaching booth. Brandon Marshall gives the offense sizzle.
    Prediction: 10-6, second in NFC North

  • Steve Wyche

    Jay Cutler and Brandon Marshall -- rookie WR Alshon Jeffery could be a surprise -- will nab the attention, but running back Matt Forte will get it done again to help the Bears get to the playoffs.
    Prediction: 10-6, second in NFC North

In The Spotlight
Brandon Marshall | #15 | WR

For years, Bears fans have waited for a difference-maker at the receiver position, and new general manager Phil Emery answered the call by trading for Marshall. Having connected hundreds of times while both were in Denver, Marshall and quarterback Jay Cutler will add a much-needed dimension to an offense already including weapons Matt Forte and Devin Hester.

3 Pivotal Games
Week 2 at Packers
Head coach Lovie Smith said beating the Packers was his top priority when he took the job in January 2004. If he and his team want to reclaim the NFC North title that their rival took away last season, shutting down the Packers? juggernaut offense in Lambeau is a great place to start.
Week 10 vs. Texans
Hosting the Texans is a nice midseason test for Chicago; snuffing out Houston?s potent offense would give the Bears a head of steam towards a postseason run.
Week 17 at Lions
Whether it?s for a division title or wild-card berth, this season-ender between two NFC North foes at Ford Field is likely to have big playoff implications.