The question of how well a team will do in the upcoming season can often divide fans. That is the case with the 2015 version of the Chicago Bears.
Many fans believe that with this new coaching staff, and a little injury luck, the Bears could end the year with nine wins. Many other fans are a little more skeptical, and think that the Bears will struggle to win six or seven. For me, the 2015 Bears will struggle to win more than seven games due to lack of depth, and because I do not want to take the leap of faith on injury luck.
So the main reason that I am not very high on the 2015 Chicago Bears is that they do not have depth at several key positions, and even the starters there worry me. The biggest example of this is in the secondary. At corner currently the Bears have Kyle Fuller, Sherrick McManis, Alan Ball, Terrance Mitchell, Demontre Hurst, and Tracy Porter. Oh is that not an inspiring group of corners? Fuller, who started his rookie season out well, has not played well in camp and the preseason thus far.
There is hope that with just more experience under new DC Vic Fangio’s new scheme that he can live up to the potential that he flashed last year. Some players in the group, McManis for example, have played well in the last month. However, questions remain about whether or not they will be able to stand up to the test once the games actually mean something.
Another big question mark is at right tackle, where the Bears cannot find someone to seize the starting job. It was Jordan Mills to lose… but he lost it. They tried putting Charles Leno in that spot, but he did not look so good. In the third preseason game against the Bengals, Jay Cutler was constantly getting harassed from his right side.
That was from a Bengals pass rush that did not have that much of a punch last year. They were last in the league with 20 sacks last year and were getting tons of pressure on Cutler. Some Bears fans are pushing for Kyle Long to be moved to tackle, as he is the Bears best offensive lineman by a long shot. Moving Long to tackle would fix that problem, but it would open a hole at right guard. Look for the Bears to add an offensive lineman that is cut within the next week. But the hole on the right side of the line could be problematic because if Jay Cutler cannot stay upright, the offense can’t function well.
Finally, I am not going to buy into the idea of basing any of my Bears predictions around the idea that the Bears can find a way to stay healthy in 2015. We have already seen Kevin White go down for an extended period, after it was initially thought that the White’s injury was not all that serious. Also, Alshon Jeffery was only supposed to miss a week with his calf injury. However, he has not practiced in almost three weeks. Sure, the Bears could just be resting Jeffery so he is ready to go week one. But after the whole Kevin White debacle, it is fair to question the nature of Jeffery’s injury.
Overall, the lack of talent and depth at positions such as cornerback and right tackle lead me to believe that the Bears will finish the year with six or seven wins. The NFC overall is a very good conference, and this will make it even harder for the Bears to even reach .500. Yes this team has talent, but as we saw last season, talent does not necessarily mean results. The Bears will finish this season slightly below .500, but this will be a season that Bears fans are proud to watch.
Ted Van Green
Spark Sports Analyst