Given the high expectations surrounding the Chicago Bears, both from myself as well as many analysts and fans, this offseason/preseason has felt like it has gone on forever. All of the waiting and anticipation will cease this weekend for us Bears fans as they take on the Indianapolis Colts, along with their top-pick quarterback Andrew Luck. When all hypothetical situations are removed, deep-rooted analysis thrown to the curb, and basic instincts are used, the Bears ought to win this game. It doesn't mean they will, but talent-to talent, the Bears are the better team...for now.
I've been cautioning fantasy owners to think twice about starting the Bears' defense this week against the Colts. I think the Bears' defense will ultimately prove a solid unit, but pocket-passing quarterbacks with little film to study on scare me. And if early indications are worth anything, I'm not thinking Luck is just your average pocket quarterback. While I've gone back and forth at how much I believe in not starting the Bears' defense this week, I think there is at least some credence to it. The Bears historically have had issues with pocket passers --even modest ones like Carson Palmer. They've also had recent troubles against those you might expect --namely Aaron Rodgers and Drew Brees.
The Bears aren't without their selling points though. For every argument I can make about what Andrew Luck might do to them, there is a counter argument that screams that the Bears will dismantle a rookie quarterback in his first game, on the road, and against a defense stuffed full of crafty veteran players. I always try to approach my team with careful confidence. Because of that, I'll often cut them a little shorter than they deserve. I might be doing that here.
The Colts defense leaves a bit to be desired, and I think that's where the Bears have an unquestionable advantage. The Bears have an entirely legitimate chance to have an elite offense. The quarterback is there, the corresponding weapons are there, and if the offensive line can even protect passably well, the protection will be enough. Andrew Luck very well may have a solid first start in the NFL, but I think the Bears have too much going for them in too many areas.
Though, week one contests often have a knack for being totally wild and uncharacteristic of who the teams will ultimately become. All the above withstanding, I'm still going Bears.
Brian is a lifelong Chicago Bears fan, having lived in Illinois his entire life and having followed the NFL throughout.
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