The Bear Den: 2009 Chicago Bears Season Preview (Part I)

Zack Pearson@Zack_PearsonCorrespondent IMay 24, 2009

ATLANTA - OCTOBER 12:  Brian Urlacher #54 of the Chicago Bears listens to head coach Lovie Smith during the game against the Atlanta Falcons at the Georgia Dome on October 12, 2008 in Atlanta, Georgia.  (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

As the Bears kicked off their OTA's this past week and are preparing for training camp at the end of July, I figure this is a good time to start my 2009 Chicago Bears season preview.

In this four part article I will break down the Bears opponents, players to watch, and predictions.

Week One: at Green Bay, Sept. 13 2009. 7:05 CST

The Bears open the 2009 campaign for the second straight year on the road. Last season it was at Indianapolis, and this season it will be against hated rival's the Green Bay Packers.

I don't need to explain the rivalry to you between these teams, because I'm sure you know about it. Instead I'll leave you with a nice fact, since the NFC North formed in 2002, the Bears or the Packers have won the division every year except for last year when the Vikings won it.

This game will be huge for both teams to start off the year.

Both teams would love to open the season with a win, especially against a division rival.

With the arrival of Jay Cutler to Chicago, this game now takes a little more excitement on the national stage. Two young quarter backs in Aaron Rodgers and Cutler will be duking it out for years to come.

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The key for the Bears is to use their run game to their advantage and have the defense play dominant. Last year they went into Green Bay and got destroyed by the Pack, before pulling out a game in over time Week 16 in Chicago.

You can bet your bottom dollar that the Bears remember last years trip to Green Bay and will be out for revenge.

Final Score Prediction: Bears 17, Packers 16

Week Two: vs Pittsburgh, Sept. 20 2009. 3:15 CST

The defending Super Bowl champions come into town to take on the Bears. These two teams last met way back in 2005 with Pittsburgh getting the win and eventually becoming Super Bowl XL champions.

Pittsburgh is set for a repeat by nearly bringing back their entire Super Bowl team from last year.

If the Bears are to pull off an early season upset, they will have to have their defense clicking on all cylinders. The defense will have to shut down the Steelers potent offense and rush Big Ben into throws.

If the Bears can get early pressure on Big Ben and rattle him, along with the offense scoring early and getting a good lead the Bears can win this game.

I just don't see that happening.

Final Score Prediction: Steelers 24, Bears 16

Week Three: at Seattle, Sept. 27 2009. 3:15 CST

The Bears play in their third straight afternoon/night game of the season when they make the friendly visit to Seattle.

Last time Chicago was in Seattle they suffered a loss that killed any hope of the playoffs in 2007.

Seattle is a team that seems to be rebuilding and wont be a contender for a couple years. The Bears get their first look at stud linebacker Aaron Curry, who in my mind is going to be one of the elite linebackers in the NFL within a few years.

The Bears will just be to much for the Seahawks.

I see Cutler and Forte having big games against this Seattle defense, and the Bears defense putting out a dominant performance.

Home field for Seattle could be critical. If they can jump out to a early 10 or 14 point lead and get the crowd into the game, Chicago might be in trouble.

I just don't see that happening.

Final Score Prediction: Bears 27, Seattle 10

Week Four: vs Detroit, Oct. 4 2009, 12:00 CST

In another battle between division rivals, the Bears host the Detroit Lions in a Week-Four showdown.

A interesting question will be if we will see the pro debut of Matt Stafford, who the Lions took first overall in this years draft.

It might be time for the Lions to give Stafford the reps, and expect a Bears defense to be hungry with a rookie quarterback at the helm.

The way I see this game is in two ways. I can see this being a trap game for the Bears who start off the season by winning two or more games.

Or I can see this game being dominated by the Bears as they did against the Lions last year.

For the second straight game I predict the Bears defense to show up and be dominant. The Lions really only have one weapon on offense that scares me in Calvin Johnson. But I'm confident the Bears will take care of business.

Final Score Prediction: Bears 34, Lions 10.

Player to watch for: Jay Cutler. The quarterback who was brought into Chicago from Denver in an offseason trade will need to step up. The Bears offense will feed off Cutler and his playmaking ability.

I see the Bears finishing the first quarter of the 2009 NFL season by going 3-1 and leading the NFC North. Now there is still a lot of football to be played, and anything can happen from now until September.


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