Chicago Bears game predictions

September, 2, 2014
Sep 2
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ESPN.com Chicago Bears reporter Michael C. Wright makes his game-by-game picks for the 2014 season.

Week 1: Buffalo Bills

This Bears blasted Buffalo 40-7 the last time these teams met at Soldier Field, but this game should be much closer as the Bills have improved. Chicago's defense will look better than it has in the preseason, but it won't be dominant right off the bat. Prediction: Win


Week 2: at San Francisco 49ers

Given recent news about issues with the surface at Levi's Stadium, the Bears might feel like this is a home game. San Francisco's stadium should be rocking as the 49ers christen the place for the first time in the regular season, but the Bears will struggle offensively. Prediction: Loss


Week 3: at New York Jets

Chicago's defense will appear to be starting to come around in this game, but that will be a byproduct of ineptitude from New York's offense. Look for Jay Cutler, Brandon Marshall and Alshon Jeffery to shred the Jets on the back end. Prediction: Win


Week 4: Green Bay Packers

Chicago gets a chance to atone for being knocked out of the postseason by this team in the 2013 regular-season finale. Green Bay's Julius Peppers returns to Soldier Field and will look like the Peppers of old, but it won't be enough for the Packers to win this one. Prediction: Win


Week 5: at Carolina Panthers

Cam Newton should bring about a case of déjà vu of the club's preseason debacle at Seattle against Russell Wilson. The offense faces a reality check against a Carolina defense that ranked No. 2 in 2013. Prediction: Loss


Week 6: at Atlanta Falcons

The perception the Falcons might be a soft team seems to become more and more real every day. Chicago will face an improved Atlanta squad, but the Falcons can't run the ball well enough to keep the ball away, and they certainly haven't proved capable of stopping the run, either. Prediction: Win


Week 7: Miami Dolphins

The Dolphins keep adding running backs, yet still can't consistently run the ball effectively. And although Ryan Tannehill looked better last season, the Bears will get to him in this one. Chicago's defense will look better than it is against Miami, but expect Cutler and the offense to be the stars of this one. Prediction: Win


Week 8: at New England Patriots

This will be Chicago's fifth road outing in eight weeks, and with the Patriots playing a Thursday night game against the Jets heading into this matchup, they'll have a long week to prepare for the Bears. That could mean trouble, possibly worse than the 36-7 beatdown the Patriots administered to the Bears the last time these teams played. Prediction: Loss


Week 10: at Green Bay Packers

Last season, the Bears lucked out at Lambeau Field due to an Aaron Rodgers injury and Josh McCown putting together a strong performance. You can expect an improved Cutler in 2014, but at Lambeau Field, he's been horrible, producing passer ratings of 43.2, 43.5 and 28.2. Prediction: Loss


Week 11: Minnesota Vikings

The Bears need to use this one as a momentum builder as they start a stretch of five home games to close out the season. Look for Jared Allen to put together a strong game, facing his former team with the motivation to prove he can still get it done. Prediction: Win


Week 12: Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Here's another week of reunions as McCown and former coach Lovie Smith visit Soldier Field for the first time since leaving Chicago. Expect Smith to spend all week downplaying this matchup, but he'll have the Buccaneers playing with an edge. Prediction: Loss


Week 13: at Detroit Lions

A short turnaround coming off what should be a physical contest against the Buccaneers could be difficult to navigate for the Bears in their first Thanksgiving outing since 2004. The Bears are 1-4 in their past five Thanksgiving contests with their last victory coming in 1993. Prediction: Loss


Week 14: Dallas Cowboys

Why would the league schedule this matchup again in December at Soldier Field? Last year, the Bears put a 45-28 shellacking on Dallas with the temperature at kickoff measured at 8 degrees with a wind chill of minus-9. Prediction: Win


Week 15: New Orleans Saints

The best defense wins this matchup of teams with similar offenses, and obviously Chicago will be better equipped to handle the elements at Soldier Field than the Saints. The Bears come out on top in this one by forcing a couple of Saints turnovers and playing ball-control offense. Prediction: Win


Week 16: Detroit Lions

The Bears should avenge the Thanksgiving loss at Ford Field with a lopsided win at Soldier Field for their third consecutive victory. The win gives Chicago plenty of momentum near the end of its playoff push, which will be needed for the next week's outing in Minnesota. Prediction: Win


Week 17: at Minnesota Vikings

Despite playing on the road, the Bears won't be at as much of a disadvantage as they had been in the past playing in the Metrodome because this one will be outside at TCF Bank Stadium, with snow likely on the ground and no deafening inside noise. Chicago closes strong with a four-game winning streak. Prediction: Win


Predicted Record: 10-6

Michael C. Wright

ESPN Chicago Bears reporter

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