Projecting the Second Half for the Chicago Bears Game by Game
The Bears proved that they can stall and take as long as they need. While giving up a lot of yards, Chicago's defense is what held the Bears in the game and ultimately gave them the best opportunity to win.
By scoring two touchdowns in eight seconds, the Bears showed that no matter how far out of a game they may seem, never count the Bears out—even when all hope of them winning looks pretty much lost.
With that lead, what do the Bears have to do to win the rest of their games and win the division? Can the Bears brace a tough second-half schedule? How will the Bears do in each of their games?
All of those answers can be found right here.
Week 9 at Tennessee
The Tennessee Titans should not prove to be a problem for Chicago, provided the Bears come ready to play.
Against Carolina, the Bears took their time to get going, but in the end they got the job done in order to walk away with a win. They need to come into Tennessee firing on all cylinders, because the games afterwards will not be easy wins by any means.
If the offensive line protects Jay Cutler so that his ribs can heal and he doesn't have to worry about being sacked every play, and if the defensive line stops Chris Johnson and puts pressure on Matt Hasselbeck, Jake Locker or whomever the Titans play at quarterback, the Bears should be just fine.
FINAL RESULT: Bears 34, Titans 14
Week 10 vs. Houston
The Houston Texans are a very good team, one that will provide a big challenge for the Bears on Sunday Night Football.
This game will have to be won by the Bears' offense. The defense won't have a bad game, but there's only so much a team can do when going up against the dominant offense of Arian Foster and Matt Schaub.
Chicago's offense will need to get something going fast and keep scoring steadily throughout the entire game for the Bears to win this one.
It seems like right now J.J. Watt and the Houston defense will prove to be just too much for the offensive line of Chicago to handle.
FINAL RESULT: Houston 24, Chicago 20
Week 11 at San Francisco
In my opinion—and I know others will disagree—the 49ers are the best team in all of football right now.
San Francisco's stifling defense will be tough to overcome, but if Chicago is going to win, it's going to have to be the way they won their other two Monday Night Football games this season: through defense.
The Bears will not have an easy time scoring on San Francisco; it's just not going to happen. Therefore, if the Bears can step up on defense and do what they do best, they may have a shot.
The Bears are going to have to force turnovers, create pressure and sack Alex Smith early and often. Frank Gore is going to run the ball at Chicago until they can stop him, and it will be interesting to see what blitz packages the Bears run against the 49ers.
In the end, it looks like the Bears will lose their second straight game—both in prime time—and fall to three losses on the season.
FINAL RESULT: San Francisco 20, Chicago 10
Week 12 vs. Minnesota
The Bears will be going up against the Minnesota Vikings in Week 12, a team that nobody can really seem to figure out.
The Vikings started off great, but after Christian Ponder was no longer such a mystery to opposing teams, they have definitely had their share of struggles.
The Vikings currently sit at 4-3, two games behind the Bears in the division, and a lot of that is thanks to running back Adrian Peterson—a player who has really put the Vikings organization on his shoulders and lifted them to where they are at today.
In order for the Bears to win, all they have to do is stop Adrian Peterson. The Bears will put pressure on Ponder and force him to make mistakes, there's no doubt about that. And Jared Allen will put pressure on Cutler, it's just a matter of whose defense plays better throughout the game.
After what we saw the Bears' defense do late in the game against Carolina, we know they can make the plays needed late in the game to grind out a victory.
FINAL RESULT: Bears 31, Vikings 17
Week 13 vs. Seattle
The Seattle Seahawks are another team that seems to be hard to figure out.
Lead by rookie sensation Russell Wilson, the Seahawks have an offense that can either light up the field or just roll over and die during a game.
One thing is for sure, Seattle has a defense that will make you pay if you consistently make mistakes on offense. That's not saying that the Bears will have a hard time scoring, it's that the Bears need to be on top of their game when the Seahawks come to town.
In the end, Julius Peppers and the defensive line will put pressure on Wilson and force him to make rookie mistakes, and that's when Charles Tillman and Tim Jennings will step up and to what they do best.
FINAL RESULT: Chicago 31, Seattle 13
Week 14 at Minnesota
This game will prove tougher for Chicago for one reason and one reason only: the Metrodome.
Everybody knows that Minnesota is a tough place to play, simply because of how loud the crowd can get there. Back in the days of Mike Ditka, the Bears would practice for the Minnesota game by playing loud noise over the speaker system in their practice facilities, forcing his offense to remember plays and signs from the coaches.
The Bears and VIkings always have interesting games in Minnesota, and late in the season, it's especially important for the Vikings that they will be at home with the crowd noise on their side.
However loud the noise may be though, it doesn't look like it will be able to stop Chicago—who will be on a roll and ready to win the NFC North—with this game proving to be very crucial down the stretch. The defense will get the job done here, and the offense will come out swinging as the Bears get yet another divisional victory.
FINAL RESULT: Chicago 47, Minnesota 19
Week 15 vs. Green Bay
This game right here is the Super Bowl for both teams.
The winner of this game is going to win the NFC North and, more importantly, will get to play a game at home in the postseason.
The Packers will be rough on the Bears, blitzing Cutler and forcing him throw interception after interception, a strategy that worked when the two teams met earlier this season. This time around, however, things will be different.
Cutler will be ready to go, and hopefully by this time he will have both Earl Bennett and Alshon Jeffery back along with Brandon Marshall and Devin Hester—and both Matt Forte and Michael Bush in the backfield.
Another factor in this game will be the kickers. While Robbie Gould has been solid this season, Mason Crosby has been anything but, and in a close game like this, teams need all the points they can get. Robbie Gould will be possibly the biggest contributor to the Bears in this game.
If the Bears can get two takeaways from Green Bay's offense and turn those into some sort of points, the Bears win a close grudge match and walk away NFC North title winners.
FINAL RESULT: Chicago 36, Green Bay 30
Week 16 at Arizona
Just like in 2006, this game will come down to defense and special teams for the Bears.
The offense will be tired out after putting up a big fight against Green Bay the week before and will be a bit slow in this one. This looks to be a classic Bears football game, with a dominating defense taking over and keeping the Bears close when the offense struggles to get going.
A touchdown and a couple of field goals should be enough for the Bears, just like in the game vs. Detroit earlier this season on Monday Night Football.
With the defense attacking Arizona and forcing turnovers, the Bears beat Arizona and continue their dominant roll heading into the last week of the regular season.
FINAL RESULT: Chicago 16, Arizona 10
Week 17 at Detroit
The key to victory for the Bears in this one will be the same as it always is when playing the Lions: attack Matt Stafford and force him to make mistakes.
There's no doubt about it, when he plays Chicago, Matt Stafford feels the pressure and turns the ball over to the Bears multiple times a game—something that the Bears know very well.
Expect Tim Jennings and Charles Tillman to have big games, as well as Chris Conte and the entire secondary from Chicago while the starters are still in.
On the other side, look for Cutler to be hot while he is in, getting himself ready for the playoffs. The Bears won't put up a lot of points, provided that they already clinch a playoff berth, so don't expect too many offensive points from the Bears. That doesn't mean the defense can't still score though, right?
FINAL RESULT: Chicago 20, Detroit 14