Odds makers at online sportsbooks such as Bovada, betonline, sportsbook.com and topbet have given the Chicago Bears a win total of 8.5 for the 2013 season.
The success for the Bears in the NFC North will be predicated on the season of Jay Cutler their quarterback. His performance will be the biggest factor in determining if Chicago reaches the postseason.
While Chicago’s defense is strong, ranked No. 8 last season in the NFL in both stopping the rush and pass, and their rushing game was a solid No. 10 in the league, the passing game was dismal ranked No. 29 in the NFL.
Even though champions are built on defense, today’s game has changed and teams must have a reliable and consistent quarterback for them to be successful.
Cutler thus far in his career has proven to be an unremarkable passer, but this season with Marc Trestman as the new head coach of the Bears, that could change.
Trestman won two straight Grey Cups with the Montreal Alouettes in the Canadian Football League. That league is all about the passing game.
Trestman was quarterback coach at Cleveland and the Browns reached the playoffs with a 10-6 record, beating the Colts in the first round. He helped former Browns quarterback Bernie Kosar throw for over 3,500 yards.
Trestman has coached previously in Arizona, Oakland, Detroit, Minnesota and San Francisco as a quarterbacks coach and always was able to get the full potential out of his quarterbacks and that will be crucial for the Bears and Cutler this season.
Defensively the Bears look as strong as they always have, even though Brian Urlacher is gone. With Lance Briggs, who had 103 tackles and D.J. Williams who had 90 tackles in 2011 the team should fill Urlacher’s vacancy without a problem.
The Bears defensive line will be crucial in their success, but their secondary will play a huge role for the unit as well.
The secondary for Chicago had six interception returns for touchdowns in just the first seven games of last season. With Major Wright at safety and Christ Tillman at corner, the Bears have a great secondary.
Cutler will not only be helped by his new head coach, but the offensive line has some new faces that should help protect him more in the pocket. Two draft picks Jordan Mills and Kyle Long will help from the start.
I take the UNDER in the win total of 8.5, as the Bears should win 7 or even 8 games as they have a tough schedule and Cutler is not the quarterback they need to reach the next level.