By Bryan Dietzler
In my last article, we looked at the Bears’ schedule in September. They play three out of four games against playoff teams from 2016 and could go winless. What a bad way to start the year. But after looking at October’s schedule, it’s possible the Bears could not only earn their first win of the season but grab even more victories to help their record.
There are so many unknowns heading into the 2017 season that it’s hard to predict exactly what the Bears are going to do. It’s more of a “best guess” than anything else. But you can see some of the trends that have taken place over the last few seasons and get a pretty good guess as to what might happen.
Remember, all of this is just a guess.
When making these selections, I try to factor in what has happened to both teams during the offseason what, if any improvement has been done by both teams. For the Bears, I can only hope that their arrow is pointing up for them next season. You would think it would be after all the moves that they have made. And while they may not see a lot of success in 2017, they are poised for greatness beyond it.
So, once again, here we go with a review of the Bears games for 2017. This time, we will tackle the month of October.
October 9th @ 8:30 pm on ESPN Minnesota at Chicago
The Vikings were riding high last season before they met the Bears on Halloween, lost, and started their downward spiral. They did take the second game against, at the end of the season, leaving both teams with a win against one another in 2016. Now it’s a new year and a fresh start for both teams.
Minnesota made some moves to help get themselves in a better spot next year. However, they are still a little ways away from being a playoff contender. So, at this point in the 2017 season following a rough start, this is the team that the Bears need to play.
This will be a hard-fought game, but the Bears will have enough in the tank to get past the Vikings. Things will finally start clicking for Chicago here, and they will show the Monday night crowd that they can win. Along with that, with this being a division game, both teams are sure to be ready to fight it out. But the Bears will have the edge and get their first victory of the year.
Early “Don’t hold me to it” Prediction: Chicago 17 Minnesota 10
October 15th @ 1:00pm on Fox Chicago at Baltimore
The Ravens were not a “great team” last season earning a .500 record but no trip to the playoffs. They have done some work to try to make themselves better this off-season and may show some improvement. One thing about Baltimore you can usually count on is that they will have a strong defense. But, by this point in the season the Bears offense could (and should) be clicking and, barring injuries, could be doing just enough to look better each week. And they could look and do better against the Ravens.
The Bears’ defense may also be in much better shape by this time, and if they are, they should be able to shut down the Ravens’ rebuilding offense. While this game may not be a high scoring affair due to struggling offenses and stronger defenses, it should be a Bears’ win
Early “Don’t hold me to it” Prediction: Chicago 13 Baltimore 10
October 22nd @ 1:00pm on Fox Carolina at Chicago
After riding high in 2015, the Carolina Panthers came crashing down to earth and struggled. They have made some adjustments during the offseason and may look a little better, but they may not climb completely out of the basement in 2017. They have a little ways to go.
With a strong showing by their defense, the Bears can win this game. They have to contain Cam Newton, which got easier for teams last year. Hopefully, the Bears defense will be hot at this time of year with good health and greater comfort with Vic Fangio’s system. If they have both of those things nailed down, they could be capable of stopping Carolina.
I think that Chicago will be able to beat the Panthers, at home and continue their winning streak. This is a winnable game if all the pieces for the Bears are clicking. And it’s possible they could be at this time of the season.
Early “Don’t hold me to it” Prediction: Chicago 20 Carolina 14
October 29th @ 1 pm on Fox Chicago at New Orleans
The Saints have one of the most talented offenses in the NFL, but they will be developing some new talent on that side of the ball. Quarterback Drew Brees is one of the best and can throw the ball all over the field racking up yards and points. The suspect unit for the Saints is their defense. They have struggled the last few seasons, but with some moves made this off-season, they will be a little bit better.
Chicago’s’ defense will need to be at it’s strongest in this game. If the Saints’ offense is firing on all cylinders, which it will be, it’s going to be hard to stop. Chicago’s secondary needs to be up to the task covering Brees’ targets. They need to get perfect pass pressure against the Saints’ quarterback and need to keep New Orleans from scoring a lot of points. This is because Chicago’s offense will probably not be able to keep up.
This could either be a shootout or a lopsided win by the Saints. Unless something happens to tie the hands of the Saints offense (an injury to Brees perhaps) their offense will be hot as usual. Chicago’s offense will lack the firepower to keep up with their consistently productive offense.
Chicago will come out of this game on the losing side ending the month on a low note. Incidentally, their bye week will be the next week, so they will go into that week having lost some momentum.
Early “Don’t hold me to it” prediction: New Orleans 27 Chicago 17
The Bears will get some wins in the month of October and will look better. This team is built to progressively get better, and as the season goes on, they will get better. There is talent on the team, especially on defense and this team will start climbing out of the basement in 2017 and eventually get to the playoffs maybe even as early as 2018.
Next Up: The month of November and continued improvement.