Despite one of the most potent offenses in the league – which barely missed a beat with an injury to QB Jay Cutler, the defense let the Bears down and prevented them from making the playoffs in the final game of the season. The team spent all of their 2014 resources to prevent that exact scenario in the upcoming season.
Marc Trestman’s Bears were one Green Bay miracle play away from their first division title since 2010. Unfortunately, despite his offense’s incredible athletic ability – three leading receivers over 6’4″ tall – the defense gave up 20 points or more in every single game (a franchise first). The Bears devoted all of their considerable resources to bringing in players to give the defense the boost it needs to become a dominant NFC team.
After allowing DE Julius Peppers to walk in free agency, the Bears signed DE Jared Allen – an equally ferocious pass rusher – and drafted CB Kyle Fuller, considered one of the most NFL ready DBs in the 2014 draft. Fuller should be the eventual heir to 33-year-old Charles Tillman, who still somehow performs at a very high level.
On offense the team has one of the biggest receiving corps in football with Martellus Bennett, Brandon Marshall and Alshon Jeffrey – the loss of Earl Bennett may hurt, but the running game should be able to pick up the slack. RB Matt Forte is still a Top 10 back and QB Jay Cutler has one of the best arms in football.
The only struggles on the horizon appear to be the resurgence of the Packers, who still managed to make the playoffs despite losing Aaron Rodgers for a large portion of the season. The two rivalry games will likely decide who wins the NFC North title.
The Bears report to training camp in Bourbonnais, Illinois on July 25.