After going 8-8 in 2013 in a season where the offense was a good as the defense was poor can the Bears make a push for the playoffs in 2014?
Key Man: Jay Cutler
It is time for Cutler to either put up or shut up. The Chicago Bears QB already gets paid like an elite quarterback but he has never delivered on his promise.
To be fair not all of this is his fault. Cutler looked very good in the Marc Trestman offense last season before he got injured and with an extra year bedding in the offense the chances that when he is on the pitch he will look even better. Especially, given the plethora of offensive weapons that the Bears can put onto the field.
Perhaps the biggest question over the Cutler though is whether he can stay fit for a season though. If he can then the Bears could be contenders. If he doesn't then Bears fans better hope that Jordan Palmer can be this seasons version of Josh McCown.
Biggest Strength: Wide Receiver Duo
The Bears are blessed to have perhaps the best wide receiver duo in the NFL in
Brandon Marshall and Alshon Jeffrey on their roster.
Combined last year Jeffrey and Marshall had 2716 receiving yards. It must be remembered also that much of that production was with McCown throwing the ball
to them and whilst McCown had a great year in 2013 it would be hard to argue that the Bears would not have been better with a fit Cutler.
In 2014 then you can expect to see both Jeffrey and Marshall star for the Bears. The
pair of them combining for 3000+ yards is a stretch but it is not impossible.
Biggest Weakness: Secondary
The secondary is huge problem for the Bears. The best player on the secondary is rookie draft pick cornerback Kyle Fuller. The Bears defensive coordinator Mel Tucker will hope to use Fuller's youth and talent to rotate and keep fresh a secondary filled with players like Tim Jennings and Charles Tillman who are showing their age.
The weakness if even more glaring at safety however, where veterans M.D. Jennings and Ryan Mundy hardly inspire confidence and the Bears could easily find themselves relying on fourth round draft pick Brock Vereen.
The Bears are a good unit offensively but defensively they probably need another
draft before they can compete with the real elite teams. They should challenge with the Lions for the number two spot in the NFC North.