ARE YOU READY FOR SOME FOOTBALL
Because I know that I sure am. I absolutely love football, almost as much as I love baseball. Well I guess they are about equal. Baseball is a little different because they play every day, but football you have to wait a week, and the excitement builds up all week. Then the Bears kick off, and about 5 minutes into the game, and three 3 and outs later I'm taking my traditional Sunday after church nap.
This year will be different though. This might be the year the Bears put a few things together and do something. I by no means am predicting a Super Bowl, but I don't think it is a stretch to say the Bears will make the playoffs this year.
The Bears have one of the leagues best defenses. There were pretty good last year with an injured Brian Urlacher, Mike Brown, Charles Tillman, and Adewale Ogunleye. All sytems are go, all are healthy. A second year for Tommie Harris, who FOX Sports predicts is on his way to being a star. Alex Brown is a pretty decent pass rusher and will get only better the more attention that's paid to Ogunleye, and Harris. I really Like Lance Briggs as well, who led the team in tackles last year. Not to mention solid players like Vasher, who will get better in his second season, and Hillenmeyer, who is no star but very solid. I really think this might be the best Bears defense since 1985.
The offense on the other hands is another story, especially being placed in the hands of rookie QB Kyle Orton. I think the key will be his ability to manage a game. Play within his ability, and just don't turn the ball over. Of course it goes without saying that will be easier said than done. I am pretty confident in our ability to run the ball. Thomas Jones is a pretty soild RB, and being backed up by Adrian Peterson and Cedric Ben$on.
My biggest worry is the O-line. I think controlling the line of schrimmage is the key to winning football games. I am very confident we will be able to control the line on D, offensively though I have my doubts. We added Fred Miller that's about the only difference in the line from last season, and I think it is no secret our line was pathetic. The best way to ease the pressure on a rookie QB is with a solid running game, and time to throw. I'm nervous about the line. I think we got RB's capable if given half a chance by our line. Not to mention Muhsin Muhhammed will get open against anyone, of course assuming Kyle Orton is not running for his life every time we set up to pass.
I think if we can score 2 TD's a game we'll be ok. That's all we need. Our ballhawking D will probably get us TO's adding atleast a field goal or two a game, if not more.
Special teams are also a big concern. Let me get this straight, we got sick of Paul Edinger missing field goals so we added the dude from the Jets who choked two field goals away for the Jets in the playoffs last year. That's scary. Not to mention his kick offs are pathetic. What is it with the Bears and their inability to kick the daggone ball deep. I played line in high school, but I also kicked, and I had many touchbacks as a high school kicker, for crying out loud quit kicking the ball to the 20. Kickers are a dime a dozen, if you can't kick the ball atleast to the 5, that's pretty pathetic. Maynard is a solid punter, and sadly enough was probably our offensive MVP last season. Azumah should be back to returning kicks, and he did a nice job in '03, making the Pro Bowl. Doug Brien though, he scares me. We are gonna be in a lot of close games and can't afford to lose any games because of some freaking kicker choking.
If you look at our schedule, we open up against the Skins on Sunday, then at home against the Lions and Bengals, and back on the road against the Browns. All 4 games I think the Bears are sure capable of winning. It gets tough in Week 5 with the Viqueens, but as bad as we have been the last few seasons, we have still managed to beat them. The Ravens at home in week 6, a tough game for any team. Then back on the road for two weeks, but for 2 games we could also win, @ Lions, and @ Saints. Then the 49ers at home, another game thats winnable. The next 2 games will be tough @ Tampa, and at home against Carolina. The real tough part of the schedule unfortunately comes down the stretch playing both Packer games, @Pittsburgh, Atlanta at home, and ending the season on the road against the Viqueens.
Looking at the schedule if we can go 3-1 the first 4 games. You gotta figure were gonna lose to the Ravens, but I think we might beat the Viqueens at home. That would make us 4-2 through week 6. Three games against the Lions, Saint, and Niners, we gotta win 2 of those 3. If we do were 6-3 heading into Tampa and Carolina. I figure were gonna lose both of those, but it wouldn't surprise me to beat Tampa, but conservatively thinking we'll lose both. So were 6-5 after week 11. With the 5 toughest games left. That's real scary because the only real likely win will come against Green Bay at home, but if we can dig up another W in that 5, then that makes us 8-8, and in the NFC that might be good enough to get us in the playoffs.
However, we are talking about the Bears, so it wouldn't be a shock to see Orton hurt Sunday and out for the season. Followed by injuries to Urlacher, and Brown. Then Blake gets hurt in week 4 and were begging for Hutchinson to come back, or stuck with Kittner. Then the McCaskey family praises Jerry Angelo and how he handled two seasons with serious injuries and they give him a 10 year contract extension. We play bad enough to get the over all number one pick and use it draft a punter from the Manhattan School of Typewriter Maintenance.