Ahhh, do you feel the spirit? It’s Christmas morning! Daaaaa Bearssss season opener and it feels so good! (Peaches and Herb voice)
Bears fans throughout the nation are going to be watching today’s game with keen eyes, withholding judgment until the first 48 minutes have expired in Chicago. New Head Coach (check). New Offensive & Defensive Coordinators (check). New offensive system predicated on QB support & performance (Check). New offensive line (check). New starting MLB (check). New TE (check). New LT (check). Conversely no J’Marcus Webb (check).
Phil Emery in his second full year certainly has enforced his power on the team and the roster changes. Possibly the saddest thing about today’s game is not seeing #54 run out on the field with the Bears one more time after years of greatness.
Season openers under a new system are always the most exciting because fans have no basis of pre-judging the team, especially after a 2-2 preseason. With that being said, here are the biggest things to really focus on today if you are looking to see what the season has in store for DAAAA BEARS.
- What does the offensive system really look like on the field: Traditional west coast systems (which the Bears are running) are predicated on quick hitting plays and timely shot taking. HC Marc Trestman is known for being a “mad-scientist” if you will so look for greater iterations of traditional west coast systems. Pair that with former Saints OC Aaron Kromer, look for the Bears to utilize their weapons and spread the ball around pretty evenly. Expect the Bears to get Forte & Marshall going early in the game to establish a precedence and then look to utilize new toys in Marty Bennett & Alshon Jeffery. Don’t sleep on Earl Bennett either after taking a paycut he has plenty of incentive to perform
- Young Cubs on the O-Line: Kyle Long gets a great test for his first NFL game in All-Pro Geno Atkins. Jordan Mills had a great camp but little is known on how talented he actually can be. Cutty feels confident in them as does Kromer, Trestman & Emery which means that they must play well together. If they can limit the pressure and allow Forte to run to the even gaps, while protecting Jay, then i’ll consider this a win today.
- Cutler’s Maturity: In case you’ve been sleeping under a rock for the last year, Phil Emery hired Marc Trestman from the CFL because of his ability to develop QBs and make them great. He made Rich Gannon All-Pro, HOF QB’s love Trestman and all seems well between Cutty & Trestman thus far. Now it’s time to show the NFL community and Bears fans if Jay is capable of being a winning QB with all the pieces he’s asked for around him.
- Bears Defense W/O #54: It’s a sad day that the Bears won’t be able to take the field with #54. Looking forward to watching the defense under Briggs who I think has an even bigger influence on the locker room in previous years than most are being lead on to believe. Look for Bears defense to fly around faster, hit harder and actually look better than they did last week.
Prediction: Bears 31 Bengals 24
Cutler – 15-27 275 yards 3 TDs 1 INT
Forte – 110 rush yards 1 TD, 45 rec. yards
Marshall – 8 rec 101 yards 1 TD
Jeffery – 6 rec. 81 yards 1 TD
Stay tuned for live updates during the game.