2014 NFL Power Rankings Countdown
14. Chicago Bears (NFC North)
2013 Record: 8-8
Head coach: Marc Trestman – Trestman took over for Lovie Smith and actually had a worse record of 8-8 than Smith did when he was fired (10-6). However, Trestman did do one thing that Smith had failed to do for a while and that’s get the offense to play up to it’s potential. Especially quarterback Jay Cutler who may have had his best season as a Bear in 2013.
Best offensive player: Brandon Marshall, wide receiver – Marshall has a unique blend of size and speed that makes him a nightmare to defend against. He’s too big for most corners to handle and his strength gives him the advantage of being able to outmuscle db’s for position to make catches in traffic.
Best defensive player: Jared Allen, defensive end – Bears linebacker Lance Briggs is still going strong, but Jared Allen is the best defender the Bears have now. Allen has had seven consecutive seasons with double-digit sacks, and odds are that the 2014 season will be his eighth straight.
Rising Star: Kyle Long, right guard – Long stepped in at right guard for the Bears and became an immediate force as a rookie. He helped the Bears improve their pass protection, and running attack as well. Kyle was selected to the pro bowl last season, and he looks to be a nice piece on the interior for years to come.
Best new addition: Jared Allen, defensive end – The Chicago Bears were among the worst teams in the league in sacks last season, and the signing of Jared Allen should give them an immediate boost in that category.
Biggest offseason loss: Josh McCown, quarterback – McCown had the best season of his career last year in relief of the injured Jay Cutler, throwing 13 TD’s and only 1 interception. McCown played so well that there was an undercurrent of sentiment to keep him as the starting quarterback when Cutler returned healthy. However, McCown left as a free agent, and now the Bears have uncertainty at backup quarterback should Cutler get hurt again.
Biggest strength: The Bears biggest strength is their top receivers. The combination of Alshon Jeffery and Brandon Marshall is extremely hard for the rest of the league to deal with. Their size and ability creates all types of problems for secondaries trying to cvoer them. And add in tight end Martellus Bennett and the Bears have one of the most formidable starting receiving units in the NFL. NFL Power Rankings
Biggest weakness: The Bears biggest weakness is depth at wide receiver. The Bears have arguably the top duo at wide receiver in the NFL in Brandon Marshall and Alshon Jeffery. But if one or both of them gets injured, the Bears really don’t have much in terms of quality depth behind them. 2014 NFL Power Rankings Countdown