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Three Biggest Games: Chicago Bears


Between a horrid record, a defense that had lost its bite, a quarterback who was thrown to the proverbial wolves behind a porous offensive line, and a head coach who alienated fans and players alike, it’s fair to say the Chicago Bears suffered through a 2014 to forget. They may not want to admit it, but one of the league’s proudest franchises is about to enter a rebuilding period starting this season. If Da Bears want any hope of reappearing in the playoffs, they’ll need a strong showing against these three NFC contenders.

Week 1 vs. Green Bay Packers

Across the league, there is never more optimism amongst every single franchise than during week 1. And regardless of any and all prior embarrassments at the hands of the Packers in the last few years, rest assured that Soldier Field will be rocking on opening weekend for the latest instalment of the NFL’s most storied rivalry. The defensive stat line won’t look pretty against a healthy Aaron Rodgers on a pristine Chicago afternoon, but winning the turnover battle by suffocating the mobile quarterback will be the key to victory.

Week 3 at Seattle Seahawks

With home clashes against Green Bay and Arizona, followed by a trip to Seattle to face a Seahawks team with a boulder on its shoulder, the Bears ‘boast’ perhaps the most brutal first three games of the regular season. Seattle’s defense will pick apart Jay Cutler like birds of prey at sundown if his protection is anything less than stellar – a tough ask considering how much the O-line has struggled to stay healthy and form a cohesive unit. With Brandon Marshall now in the Big Apple, Alshon Jeffery won’t be able to bail his quarterback out nearly as often. Triple digits on the ground and at least two touchdowns from offensive stalwart Matt Forte will be the only way the Bears stay competitive beyond the third quarter.

Week 17 vs. Detroit Lions

One of the NFL’s more underrated rivalries closes its 2015 chapter in the final week of the regular season. It’s more than likely that the Bears will be out of playoff contention by this stage, but their fans may face a nerve-wracking dilemma nonetheless. Do you end the season with a final win at home, or lay down for the lesser of two evils if it means keeping the Packers out of the playoffs? There will be no such conundrum for the players, some of whom will be playing for the right to continue wearing the big orange ‘C’ in 2016. Upstart sophomore Kyle Fuller and the reliable Tim Jennings will need to keep Calvin Johnson and Golden Tate under wraps if they wish to end the season on a high.

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