Written by: David Kruk (@DKrunk5)
Edited by: Curt Ashcraft (@cashcraft740)
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Hello sports fans! My name is David Kruk and I will be bringing you a one-of-a-kind perspective of everything Chicago sports. Throughout the course of the year, I will talk about Da Bears, Bulls, Blackhawks, Fire, and the White Sox. You might think to yourself, “Wait didn’t he forget a team?” The Cubs are a topic I won’t touch on, because I was born on the South Side of Chicago and I would have nothing nice to say about them.
To give a brief insight into my logic behind my wisdom, I speak from the mindset of a die-hard fan, which sometimes uses numbers to further make my point. In some cases, the numbers will contradict my logic and that’s okay, because a true fan speaks from the heart and listens to their gut. Today, I am going to focus on the Chicago Bears, because today football officially begins! I will be discussing what I am expecting from this year, and my prediction for the overall season.
- Cutler – Marshall Combination: There are a few things that will be contributing to make this combination extremely deadly. The first thing, Cutler is in the final year of his contract and he hasn’t been given an extension. My hope is that he uses this to his advantage and it lights a fire under his ass! We Chicagoans gave this duo’s performance the benefit of the doubt last year, because it was their first time playing together in a Bears uniform. This year is going to be a different story. Cutler needs to understand that if he doesn’t improve from last year, he could be just another quarterback that couldn’t be successful in the Windy City.
- Increase in Forte’s Production: As we have seen for the past couple of years, Forte has been the Swiss Army Knife for this team. He can run, catch, block, make interceptions, and sack the quarterback. Maybe those last two aren’t accurate, but with all he has done for the Bears, it wouldn’t surprise me. I believe his production will increase, because he won’t need to be the go-to player every down. The key for Forte to be successful is for expectation #1 (above) to be successful. Not only will Marshall need to be productive, but the other wide receivers need to step up as well. Like we saw in the third preseason game against Oakland, Cutler managed to pass the ball to at least 5 different receivers, creating a balanced running and passing attack.
- Jon Bostic fills Urlacher’s Shoes (Kind-Of): I currently have an orange alternate Bears jersey hanging in my closet that has the number 54 on the back. It still kills me that the Bears were unable to get something worked out with the “heart and soul” of the Bears franchise for the past decade, but that’s a whole other issue. Anyways, Jon Bostic seems to be the guy that has the best opportunity to make an attempt to fill Urlacher’s role this season. Granted, I am basing this off of four preseason games and one bone-crushing, very legal (even though he was fined) hit during the San Diego Chargers game. He is a rookie, so I can’t expect too much out of him, but he did play for Urban Meyer (I can hear an O-H brewing from some readers) and I think that will help him get comfortable in this system.
- Punch City: For those who have watched the Chicago Bears, you know their signature on defense is literally punching the ball out of the opponent’s hands. Even without Lovie Smith as the Head Coach, (yes I agree with the firing) I still think the defense will be as good if not better than last year. We have lost a few crucial players over the off-season, but with this new offensive scheme, I think the defense won’t be on the field as often. This will allow them to get more rest than previous seasons. Look for Jennings and Tillman to have another tremendous year intercepting passes and causing turnovers!
Looking at the 2013 schedule, I’m excited, but also nervous because it’s not going to be an easy road to the playoffs. The only good thing about our schedule is that a majority of our out of conference games are going to be played at home. If my expectations come true, I can see this team being in the top 5 of the NFC, but that’s not always the case and I need to take a more realistic approach. I still don’t believe the Bears can contend with the Packers in the NFC North, but I do think we can split the season series with them, with both teams winning at home. The Vikings just make me laugh, so you can see what I think of their team, but they are dangerous at home. I could see a season series split here as well. Finally, the Detroit Trash bags, my mistake, Detroit Lions. It seems for years the players and fans wore trash bags, so much so that I thought it was a part of the uniform. Unfortunately, I see them being serious contenders this season with the addition of Reggie Bush. I think the Bears will be able to pull off the season sweep, if they have some luck on their side. Overall, I think Da Bears go 10-5, clinching the top Wild Card spot. Though, I could potentially change my prediction depending on how Sunday goes against the Cincinnati Bengals…