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Hopes high for improvement as Bears season underway

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The Chicago Bears 2018 football season finally is underway. Despite a devastating loss to Green Bay (after leading 20-0), there are reasons for optimism.

Last year the Bears finished 5-11 and they were dead last in the NFC North division. However, this new-look Bears team may be positioned to change last season’s outcome and become a more skilled and dangerous team.

Since last season, the Bears earned an A- grade for their draft performance, meaning they picked up top young talent in areas where they needed improvement, including first round pick Roquan Smith. Then, just one week before the season opened, they pulled off a shocking trade of future draft picks in order to acquire pass-rusher Khalil Mack from the Oakland Raiders, arguably one of the top five defensive players in the league.

The Bears opened their 2018 season in Green Bay against the Packers on Sunday night. The rest of the month of September they will play against the Seattle Seahawks, the Arizona Cardinals, and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, with week 5 being their bye week.

In October they play against the Miami Dolphins, the New England Patriots, and the New York Jets. In November they play the Buffalo Bills, the Detroit Lions, the Minnesota Vikings, and the Detroit Lions on Thanksgiving morning.

Finally, in December they will play against the New York Giants, the Los Angeles Rams, visit the Packers once again, then close out their regular season with games against the San Francisco 49ers and Minnesota Vikings again.

Given that schedule, I predict that the Bears will finish 7 – 9 or 8 – 8. The Bears have an advantage over others because they don’t play on Thursday nights, allowing more time to recuperate after Sunday games. The offense will be run by second year quarterback Mitchell Trubisky, who will have several offensive weapons from which to choose, including Jordan Howard, Kevin White, Tarik Cohen, and Allen Robinson.

The defense also should be improved with returning players such as Kyle Fuller, Danny Trevathan, and Akeem Hicks, in addition to the recently acquired Mack .

This young, yet experienced Bears group definitely is a team to watch in 2018.  But they are likely to be even better in 2019.

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Hopes high for improvement as Bears season underway