2011 NFL Predictions: Chicago Bears Can’t Match Last Year’s Success

The Chicago Bears enter the 2011 NFL season without a lot of expectations, which is interesting considering that they were playing in the NFC championship game last season. But 2010 is over and the 2011 Bears will not come close to matching their performance last year.

2010 was a perfect storm for the Bears in which everything that had to go right for them  did and everything that had to go wrong for everyone else did.

The Bears won the division on the strength of their record in close games. Of their 11 wins, seven of them came in games decided by seven points or less. That points to a team that got lucky a lot more often than they should have.

Jay Cutler is still not an inspiring choice at quarterback. He makes too many mistakes and comes off as indifferent when he does make a mistake. And even if he doesn't make a mistake on his own, the porous offensive line will see to it that he never gets off a clean throw.

The receiving group is still terrible. Roy Williams is not the answer, just ask Dallas about that. Devin Hester is a great special teams player but not much help on offense.

Matt Forte is the only playmaker on offense with Greg Olsen getting shipped off to Carolina, but the offensive line will still be bad and he won't be able to get loose in the open field as much as he should.

The defense should still be adept at stopping the run with Julius Peppers and Brian Urlacher up front, but the secondary is still a weakness and will break a lot more than bend this year.

The 11-win season from 2010 will not repeat itself as the Bears will fall back to the pack in 2011 and finish the season 6-10. But Lovie Smith will still keep his job because someone in the organization thinks he is good for the franchise.