Here at Pride Of Detroit, we like to joke that #WeOwnTheBears. But the truth is, for the past three years, the Detroit Lions have very much owned the Chicago Bears. The last time the Bears defeated the Lions was way back in 2012. Detroit has won six straight games over their NFC North rival. "Owning" may be a bit of hyperbole, as only one of those games was decided by more than one possession.
But the Bears are undergoing some major changes. After finishing 2015 — head coach John Fox’s first year with the team — with a 6-10 record, the Bears enter this season with a brand new offensive coordinator. Former OC Adam Gase was nabbed for a head coaching job with the Miami Dolphins. As a response, the Bears promoted former quarterbacks coach Dowell Loggains to offensive coordinator.
Additionally, the Bears moved on from their biggest offensive weapon Matt Forte in favor of youngster Jeremy Langford and traded away tight end Martellus Bennett. But the Bears offseason wasn’t just defined by losses. They also picked up some key free agents in defensive end Akiem Hicks and linebacker Danny Trevathan.
So will the Lions continue to own the Bears in 2016, or have their rivals finally turned things around for good? Let’s take a closer look at the Chicago Bears courtesy of our frenemies at Windy City Gridiron.
2015 record: 6-10
Matchup with Lions: Week 4 in Chicago; Week 14 in Detroit
Line: Week 4: Bears by 1.5 ; Week 14: Lions by 2
Last meeting: Lions 24, Bears 20 (2016)
Notable free agent additions: ILB Danny Trevathan, ILB Jerrell Freeman, DL Akiem Hicks, RT Bobby Massie, QB Brian Hoyer
Notable free agent departures: RB Matt Forte
Trades: TE Martellus Bennett
Draft picks expected to contribute as rookies:
- First Round OLB Leonard Floyd will at the very least be in on passing downs to rush the passer. His coverage skills could be put to use as well.
- Second Round OL Cody Whitehair is in line to start at left guard.
- Third Round DL Jonathan Bullard will be in the defensive line rotation.
- Fifth Round RB Jordan Howard will be part of the Bears’ backfield by committee. The power element he adds could give him the edge on short yardage and goal line situations.
Biggest offseason addition: The two free agent inside linebackers will help get the Bears defense back to being respectable. Trevathan and Freeman are so much better (like really, really, better) than last year’s duo of Shea McClellin and Christian Jones.
Biggest storyline heading into training camp: There are a lot of story lines to pick from, but I think most fans are excited to see 2015 first-round draft pick Kevin White finally healthy. He missed all of last season with a shin injury, and if he’s all he’s cracked up to be, he will add a huge playmaker to the offense.
Under-the-radar storyline heading into training camp: So many to choose from, like the revamped front seven gelling, the running back by committee taking shape, the safety position figuring itself out, Jay Cutler meshing with new offensive coordinator, but a more obscure storyline could be seventh-round pick Daniel Braverman. He’s a smallish and shifty slot receiver that Bears’ fans are already rooting for. If he has a good camp then follows it up was a decent preseason, some fans will have their new favorite player.
Notable injuries heading into training camp: Fourth wide out Marquess Wilson broke his foot again and may end up on the PUP list. Outside linebacker Pernell McPhee is recovering from offseason knee surgery, but he should be 100% for training camp.