2016 Record: 3-13 – 4th in NFC North
Passing: Matt Barkley – 1,611 yards, 8 TD, 14 INT
Rushing: Jordan Howard – 1,313 yards, 6 TD
Receiving: Cameron Meredith – 888 yards, 4 TD
Tackles: Jerrell Freeman – 110
Sacks: Willie Young – 7.5
Interceptions: Cre’von LeBlanc/Tracy Porter – 2
QB Mike Glennon
QB Mitch Trubisky
WR Rueben Randle
TE Dion Sims
CB Prince Amukamara
SS Quintin Demps
QB Jay Cutler
QB Brian Hoyer
WR Alshon Jeffery
WR Eddie Royal
C Ted Larsen
CB Tracy Porter
– The #7 pass defense in 2016 has only gotten better. Quintin Demps is a very nice addition at safety, and Prince Amukamara is a definite improvement over Tracy Porter.
– The quarterback situation can’t be any worse than it was in 2016. Glennon showed promise in his days in Tampa and it’s a good thing that Trubisky isn’t being forced into the starting role immediately.
– Jordan Howard and the interior offensive line will provide offense even when the passing game fails.
– Right back to Howard. He is a bit concerning in regards to his playstyle. He’s a bruising, powerful back but seems to lack explosiveness and is slow to get going. If the line takes a step back or if the passing game continues to fail miserably, Howard may suffer.
– Chicago was 27th against the run last year and they didn’t take any steps to remedy the situation. A full season of Danny Trevathan will help, but he was present for 11 games and things were still bad.
– Who is Glennon going to throw to? Cam Meredith is solid, but do you really expect Reuben Randall, Victor Cruz, or Markus Wheaton to step up and be a guy in this offense? Maybe Kevin White will feel like playing this year.
Projection: 4-12, fourth in AFC North.
The Bears have a long way to go however I think Glennon is good enough to make them compete. I have them taking a game from each division opponent and stealing a win against Carolina early, but this is an incomplete team with more holes than talent.
I could see Chicago maxing out at 6-10 in 2017, but I could also see them doing even worse than 4-12 if Glennon doesn’t perform to expectation. Hang in there, Bears fans.