The Chicago Bears lost long-time head coach Lovie Smith and star inside linebacker Brian Urlacher this off-season, yet they head into 2013 with respectable 28/1 odds to win this year’s Super Bowl.
How does that happen? Well, outside of Urlacher sliding not so quietly into retirement, Chicago’s gritty and effective defense has remained almost completely intact, while a team that was just 10-6 a year ago and barely missed the playoffs gets all of their top offensive weapons back, as well.
Any fan would be right to wonder if new hire Marc Trestman is the right man of the head coaching job, but one thing’s for sure: he knows offense, and the Bears aren’t likely to lack it in 2013.
Known mostly as a defensive team that rolled with a balanced attack on offense, Chicago could quickly turn into a high-flying offense that leans on that elite defense simply when it needs to.
The Jay Cutler to Brandon Marshall connection was alive and well in 2012, while a healthy Matt Forte should help both aspects of the offense. In addition, Chicago’s one year lull at the tight end position appears to have been fixed, as the front office upgraded the position by signing Martellus Bennett.
Ultimately, this was a 10-6 team that really wasn’t too bad a year ago, yet they somehow still missed the playoffs. Considering they reached the NFL title game just three seasons ago, it’s not too crazy to think a healthy and more explosive roster could take things one step further in 2013.
While that doesn’t make the Bears a lock to win it all or even win their own division, it at least puts them in contention and makes them an interesting Super Bowl sleeper pick for the new season.
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