NFL Week 1 Predictions: Indianapolis Colts vs. Chicago Bears Preview

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NFL Week 1 Predictions: Indianapolis Colts vs. Chicago Bears Preview
Jason Miller/Getty Images
Bears coach Lovie Smith

After finishing the preseason with a .500 record for the first time since 2004, the Indianapolis Colts hope their preseason success will carry over into the regular season, beginning with their first game at Chicago.

These are two completely different teams than the ones that met in Super Bowl XLI in following the 2006 season. The Bears are much better offensively with Jay Cutler, when healthy, at quarterback and Matt Forte in the backfield.

Everything is new for the Colts. Peyton Manning and his micromanaging offense are gone, replaced by rookie quarterback, Andrew Luck. All eyes will be on Luck as he prepares to succeed one of the greatest quarterbacks in NFL history. In four preseason games, Luck completed 41 passes for 522 yards.

While Dwight Freeney and Robert Mathis are mainstays, the Colts defense also has a new look. The team will be running a 3-4 defense instead of the old Dungy-era Cover 2. New Colts coach Chuck Pagano said of the new system, "We want to build a defense that is really flexible. It’s going to be really simple for our guys to execute, but when the offense prepares for it and they see it on Sunday, it’s going to look very complex to them". (via stampedeblue.com)

The success of the Bears defense, on the other hand, hinges around their Pro Bowl middle linebacker Brian Urlacher. Urlacher missed the entire preseason after having arthroscopic knee surgery performed less than a month ago. Many have suggested that he may not be ready to play Sunday, but Urlacher insists that he will.

 

Prediction

In Andrew Luck's first professional regular season game, the offense is upended by the Bears' defense. Chicago's offense, on the other hand, proves that it is a force to be reckoned with this season.

Bears 23 Colts 14 

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