Cleat Geeks

HOMER’S NFL ODYSSEY(6): Chicago Bears

Welcome to Homer’s NFL Odyssey! Like the original hero Odysseus we will journey from NFL shore to NFL shore. Casting a light on each NFL squad and their 2015 fortunes from the perspective of a “Homer”. An upbeat tale of NFL fandom illuminating the chances of the your favorite team in a completely favorable light. This is the ultimate guide to your favorite team told from the perspective of a “Homer”.

 

QB: One of the most polarizing figures in the NFL Jay Cutler is the Windy City signal caller. Jay also happens to be one of the most talented and competitive Quarterbacks in the NFL. Loaded with superior arm strength and a never say die demeanor no deficit is insurmountable with Cutler in the pocket.  That same tenacity that makes Jay a top notch gunslinger is the same thing that causes much of the polarization. The same thing that will lead this offense to new heights in 2015.

RB: Matt Forte is a verifiable future Hall of Fame inductee. A yardage gobbling do everything 3 down back. In a league that has few 3 down backs Chicago has the advantage with Forte. Joined by speedster and pass down specialist Jacquizz Rodgers. Daniel Thomas is on hand to provide a little thump when required. Rookie Jeremy Langford and second year back Ka’Deem Carey provide great depth and a bright future for the Chicago run game.

WR/TE: Alshon Jeffery is a monster WR. Jeffery is a younger, faster version of Brandon Marshall. Explosive both in the short passing game and the long game. One of the few WRs in the NFL who can be fully trusted with jump ball targets. Joining Alshon to create a tremendous duo is 2015 1st round rookie sensation Kevin White. Another big bodied explosive threat to keep coverages honest. Figuring in ultra talented TE Martellus Bennett into the offense creates a three headed monster destined to drive opposing defenses insane with matchup issues. If that was the end it would be enough. But wait there is more. In the off-season CHI signed proven slot man Eddie Royal.  Marquess Wilson provides talented depth. This receiving core is as good as there is in the entire league.

OL: If you have a Long you have a talented offensive line. Super stud Guard Kyle Long is seeing snaps at Tackle in camp. No matter where he lines up he is a difference making impact blocker. Joining him as the heart of this OLine is emerging talents Jordan Mills, coming into his own Vladimir Ducasse and veteran Jermon Bushrod. This is a unit set to make some noise in the pass game and the run game in 2015.

Defense: Any time someone speaks about a Chicago Defense the year 1985 is used as the comparison of greatness. In 2015 these type of comparisons should prove to be accurate. A superstar laden defense capable of winning games from the Defensive side of the ball. Starting with the DLine we find future HOF DE Jared Allen. At the other DE position is talented Lamarr Houston. 2014 2nd round pick Ego Ferguson, 2015 2nd round pick Eddie Goldman and Veteran Jeremiah Ratliff have the DT position locked down. The LBs are compromised of stars and young emerging upside. 2013 2nd rounder Jonathon Bostic has figured it out in his 3rd season. Surrounded by young veterans Mason Foster, Sam Acho and Pernell McPhee this group is primed for a breakout in 2015. The defensive backfield is led by superstar 2nd year CB Kyle Fuller. A true shut down type CB.  Joining Fuller is veterans Tim Jennings and Tracy Porter. Both playmakers in their own right. 2nd year man Brock Vereen and veteran stud Antrel Rolle add great run support and ball hawking at the safety position. 1985 or 2015? In 2015 this defense will turn in a season worthy for mentioning in the same breath as the 1985 GDE(greatest defense ever).

Coaching: John Fox is the new sheriff in town. Bringing a proven winning formula with him. Control the clock and create downfield passing opportunities through a commitment to the run. Play strong defense to make the most of the clock controlling offense. It worked in Carolina and Denver. Fox’s scheme will work perfectly with the roster he inherits in Chicago. Joining Fox in the coaching staff is his Offense Coordinator from Denver Adam Gase. Former 49er coach Vic Fangio takes control of the Defensive Coordinator position.. Mixed with a group of assistants well versed in the rigors of the NFL this staff is as good as they come.

 

Division Outlook:

The Green Bay Packers are a very good team. But they are not without weakness. The defense is the weak point and the Chicago Bears have the offensive firepower to truly dominate a GB D with more holes than Swiss Cheese. The offense is weakened without a verifiable pass catching TE. The OLine is substandard and beyond Cobb and Nelson the receiving core is anemic. RB Eddie Lacy is a straight ahead plodder with more hype than actual talent. But the real weak link on this team is the D. Filled with washed up talent like Julius Peppers and Clay Matthews. Mixed with never found potential like Nick Perry and Casey Hayward. Sprinkle in over hyped talent like Ha Ha Clinton-Dix and Micah Hyde. You have the formula for bitter disappointment in 2015. GB is exposed and the Bears know how to beat them.

 

The Detroit Lions are a team in disarray, still and again. Matthew Stafford has been exposed as a volume passer who lacks accuracy and sound decision making. A mistake prone QB who has yet to get it, may never get it. The RB group features oft injured and underwhelming Joique Bell. Pass catching specialists Theo Riddick and Ameer Abdullah are the only other notable names in the Detroit RB mix. Bell cannot stay healthy, Riddick runs upright and Abdullah has tiny little baby hands making him a strip target and a liability running through the trenches. Calvin Johnson is getting older and you can see the rust taking hold of Megatron. No longer the dominate downfield target he once was this offense will slide with his career arc. Golden Tate is a talentless WR in a position of volume, but can easily be muted by a quality CB. Eric Ebron is on the verge of bust designation and no change is likely. The offensive line consists of journeymen and unproven players. This OLine will suffer at the hands of solid defenses, never mind a dominate D. The DET defense is the same as it has always been, inconsistent and prone to giving up big plays. A unit not even worthy of 3 sentences in this summary.

 

The Minnesota Vikings thinks they are on the cusp of contending. They are misguided. 2nd year QB Teddy Bridgewater is not the long term answer. Teddy is not even a good short term answer. The weaknesses will show. Adrian Peterson took a year off after beating a child with a switch. AP should take another year off to avoid getting beat up on by defenses. A year older and a year away is not conducive to production. This challenge Peterson will not overcome. The receiving unit is compromised of journeyman problem Mike Wallace, a one trick pony who can only go deep. Unproven Charles Johnson who has only shown to be average. Cordarelle Patterson is a mindless goof who cannot run a route consistently to save his life. Kyle Rudolph is a non factor who cannot stay on the field. The receivers in Minnesota are a dismal bunch. Production will be limited. The OLine is NFL average and a good defense can shred through unencumbered. The defense is a watered down talent lacking hodgepodge of over-drafted youngsters and overpaid veteran mediocrity. The Vikings are fit for a plundering in 2015.

 

2015 OUTLOOK:

The Cheese is showing mold. The Lions roar is old and weak. The Vikings ship is sinking. The Chicago Bears have all the pieces in place to surpass GB and destroy the the other divisional non-contenders on the way to the playoffs and a Super Bowl Victory as the prize. Now I’m not hear to start no trouble. I am just hear to write about the 2015 Bears Super Bowl Shuffle.

 

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