Dec 29, 2013; Chicago, IL, USA; Chicago Bears wide receiver Brandon Marshall (15) catches a touchdown pass with Green Bay Packers cornerback Tramon Williams (38) defending during the second half at Soldier Field. Green Bay won 33-28. Mandatory Credit: Dennis Wierzbicki-USA TODAY Sports

Chicago Bears: Five Conditions For A Super Bowl Run

The odds are long for a Super Bowl in 2014 but the Chicago Bears don’t fear them.  What must they do in order to make it happen?

Keeping Jay Cutler healthy late in the season

What the Bears got out of backup Josh McCown last season can’t possibly be duplicated again.  If they want to execute their offense at its peak in 2014, then it rests on the entire team to do whatever it takes to keep quarterback Jay Cutler healthy.  Naturally having him for all 16 games would be ideal, but if given a choice, Chicago must find a way to ensure he’s there late in the season.  Nothing matters more to a playoff run than finding a rhythm down the stretch, something the Bears haven’t been able to do because of Jay’s injury problems.

Defense ranking in the top 12

A team doesn’t need a great defense to win a championship in today’s NFL, but they do need a respectable one.  For the Chicago Bears they are in the process of figuring out what they have.  After crashing to 30th overall in 2013, they totally revamped the roster and parts of the coaching staff in order to improve.  Names like Jared Allen, Lamarr Houston and Willie Young join an influx of promising rookies to put together a turnaround.  On paper the improvements seem solid, but for it to have an effect the Bears need results.  Top 5 is not necessary but for a realistic shot in the NFC, top 12 is.

Brandon Marshall and Alshon Jeffery play like stars

People can always talk about the need for great depth to win championships.  That’s fine and all but the reality is in order to hoist the trophy the superstars of the team need to play like superstars when it matters.  That is why the Bears can’t afford letdowns from the likes of Alshon Jeffery, Brandon Marshall and Matt Forte.  That trio is expected to carry the offense and indeed the team in 2014.  If any one of them falters then the odds get stacked even higher against a team that just isn’t used to winning.

Keep the Green Bay Packers out of the playoffs

As if they didn’t have enough issues to sort through, perhaps the most herculean task for the Bears to undertake is finding a way to dethrone the Green Bay Packers in the NFC North.  No team has given Chicago more headaches and heartbreakers in just the past five years.  However, simply winning the division isn’t enough.  An opportunity may arise during one of the two games this season where the Bears have a chance to put the Packers on their heels and possibly even knock them out of playoff contention.  If that opportunity is there, Chicago must seize it.  The easiest way to fall in the playoffs is running into an opponent that knows how to beat you.

Play well against the San Francisco 49ers

It’s almost assured that any thoughts of a Super Bowl berth will have to go through the NFC West division.  The Seattle Seahawks are the defending champions.  The San Francisco 49ers nearly beat them in the NFC championship.  The Arizona Cardinals went 10-6 and the St. Louis Rams probably improved more than any of the four teams this off-season.  In order to get ready for that level of football, the Chicago Bears need a trial by fire and they will get it when they visit the 49ers in their brand new stadium in week 2.  It’s the sort of game that has the feel of a barometer test.  How the Bears play may determine whether they have a prayer come playoff time.  They don’t necessarily have to win the game, but a strong showing could provide ample motivation when it’s win-or-go home time.

Tags: Alshon Jeffery Brandon Marshall Chicago Bears Green Bay Packers Jay Cutler San Francisco 49ers

  • Otto Von Bismark

    You can skip the other ones because number four is not going to happen. The Packers own the Bears. They’re in their heads. They’ve had so much success at the Mistake-By-The-Lake, they should petition the NFL to play all their away and playoff games there.

    • David A Maupin

      Just like last year in GB?

      • Otto Von Bismark

        Hang on to that win. You wouldn’t want to dwell on the last game of the season… the one for the Division title… on your home turf. Probably still stings. Or being the first team to lose to another team four times in one year. That probably is still ringing in your ears. Especially… ya know… with that whole Super Bowl thing on the line… on your home turf. Ouch.

    • Erik Lambert

      Streaks don’t last forever Otto. You really should be taking advantage of these division titles while you can because the Bears are getting better. Enjoy the success because sooner or later it’s going to inevitably break.

      • millerforrest

        It will be LATER rather than sooner……especially with Rodgers.
        I said the same thing about teams owning other teams and how it has to end eventually….that was in the 1970′s when my Packers were being owned by the Bears…then the 1980′s came along and the streak continued. There is no end in sight yet for the Packers owning the Bears.

        • Erik Lambert

          Keep telling yourself that if it makes you feel better. Tick tock.

        • Otto Von Bismark

          Excellent point. I just read somewhere Rodgers is 10-2 v. the Bears. (Cutler is 1-8 v. the Pack)

      • Otto Von Bismark

        The Bears are getting better they went from 10-6 to 8-8… oh wait a minute…