Week 1 vs. Cincinnati Bengals – Loss
In terms of talent the Bengals aren’t much greater than the Bears, but their experience in their systems and stout defensive line will control this game. Kyle Long will get some valuable experience from Geno Atkins.
Week 2 vs. Minnesota Vikings – Win
You can bet payback is on the mind of the Bears in this one. Christian Ponder is in for a rough day whether he has Adrian Peterson or not.
Week 3 at Pittsburgh Steelers – Win
The Bears beat Roethlisberger the last time they saw him, and he had a far better team back them. This time they get after him frequently.
Week 4 at Detroit Lions – Win
This is a tough one considering the Lions have improved, but how much? Matthew Stafford couldn’t beat the Bears when they were listless on offense. Now?
Week 5 vs. New Orleans Saints – Win
Beating Drew Brees is a task, but the Bears own him at Soldier Field. His defense is a wreck. Besides, Jay Cutler owns Rob Ryan.
Week 6 vs. New York Giants – Loss
This is really a tossup. Eli Manning seems to have the number of the Bears and New York has an outstanding defensive front. This one is on the offensive line. It’s their first taste of Jason Pierre-Paul and rookie Damontre Moore.
Week 7 at Washington Redskins – Win
Another team that gives Chicago trouble. The Bears defense is fast enough to handle RGIII. The question is can they control Alfred Morris? It’s worth noting Cutler threw four picks to DeAngelo Hall the last time they met in the regular season.
Week 9 at Green Bay Packers – Loss
Cutler and Lambeau Field have always been a bad mix. He will play better than games past, but the first taste of Eddie Lacy will be just enough for Aaron Rodgers and the Pack to pull it out.
Week 10 vs. Lions – Win
As the weather gets worse, so does that field. The Lions defense lives off the front. Cutler will carve them up if they can’t get pressure. Besides that, Stafford has never won at Soldier Field and has looked bad the last two times he played there.
Week 11 vs. Baltimore Ravens – Win
Joe Flacco is in for a rough year. His receiving corps is weakened and the defense isn’t the security blanket it used to be. Chicago holds serve at home.
Week 12 at St. Louis Rams – Loss
Another tossup. St. Louis didn’t do much on offense last year in Chicago. They’ve upgraded since then with Jared Cook and Tavon Austin bolstering the receiving corps. Their defense is still very good and they’re at home.
Week 13 at Vikings – Loss
Historically the Bears just have a hard time winning in Minnesota. It’s a tough atmosphere and the Vikings are a good team. They claim a win on a big game from Peterson.
Week 14 vs. Dallas Cowboys – Win
Unlike Manning, the Bears have owned Tony Romo. They intercepted him five times in the meeting last year and Cutler put up 27 points on their defense. What can they do with home field advantage?
Week 15 at Cleveland Browns – Win
Cleveland is an improved team under Rob Chudzinski but they aren’t there yet. Chudzinski offenses typically frustrate the Bears but they will find enough to get out with a win. As long as Cutler doesn’t get carried away against Ray Horton’s defense.
Week 16 at Philadelphia Eagles – Win
Mel Tucker is fortunate. He’ll have almost a full season of game tape on the Philadelphia offense under Chip Kelly when the two teams meet in December. This proves crucial, as does the big game Cutler will have against a questionable defense.
Week 17 vs. Packers – Win
What better way to enter the playoffs than beating the Green Bay Packers at home? By this point Marc Trestman has a feel for the Dom Capers defense and has Cutler ready. It is still a close game, but Chicago finally ends their skid against their longtime rivals.
Final record: 11-5
Most of the hiccups will come early on but the Chicago Bears are an experienced enough team to known where and when they have to make it count. Marc Trestman knows he has the defense to do it. All he needs is to get Jay Cutler straightened out. Doing so is worth 11 wins and a playoff berth in his first year.
Pro Bowlers: Jay Cutler, Matt Forte, Brandon Marshall, Lance Briggs, Julius Peppers, Charles Tillman
You can find Bears tickets available for the entire 2013 regular season here. Tickets for the home opener against the Bengals are available for as low as $160, while you can grab tickets for the season finale against the Packers for only $135.