TALE OF THE TAPE

Week 1: Chicago Bears Vs. Indianapolis Colts

Bears
Colts
Divisional Playoffs - Seattle Seahawks v Chicago Bears
Indianapolis Colts v Pittsburgh Steelers
Quarterback
Winner Jay Cutler has one of the strongest arms in the NFL and he appears more mature and focused than he has been at any point in his career. His quick release and mobility are big positives.
The first game of No. 1 draft pick Andrew Luck’s career is not so much a huge event but the first step of a long journey. His intelligence will give him a big edge as he gets experience, but he will have rough spots along the way.
Offense
Winner The big move of the offseason was acquiring big-play receiver Brandon Marshall, who gives Cutler a specialist. Matt Forte is a solid runner and receiver, but the Bears still have question on the offensive line.
Donald Brown is a solid running back who should be able to take some of the pressure off of Luck. While the Colts are rebuilding, they retained Reggie Wayne because he knows how to get open and he will not drop passes he can reach.
Defense
Winner The Bears have Julius Peppers, who can rarely be blocked by one offensive lineman. Brian Urlacher begins the season with a balky knee, so that means Lance Briggs can’t afford any let down. The Bears have a solid defense, but age is a concern.
Chuck Pagano takes over as the Colts’ head coach after a successful run as the Ravens’ defensive coordinator. Robert Mathis must be at his best as a pass rusher for this defense to have a chance.
Special Teams
This has been one of the Bears’ biggest edges for years, but punter Adam Podleshmay not be able to go. Robbie Gould is an accurate kicker and Devin Hester is the most dangerous returner in history.
Winner The Colts seem to be well-stocked in all areas of special teams. Placekicker Adam Vinatieri is one of the best ever and punter Pat McAfee averaged 46.6 yards per punt last year. The return games can be explosive.

The Winner Is

Divisional Playoffs - Seattle Seahawks v Chicago Bears
Winner Bears
3 out of 4

The Bears have designs on pushing the Green Bay Packers for the NFC North title and making a solid run at representing the NFC in the Super Bowl. While they have more big-play options on offense, the offensive line is questionable and the defense is getting older. The Colts will probably be much better in the second half of the season than they will be in the first. The Bears get the victory.

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  2. OAKLAND, CA - NOVEMBER 27:  Cam Newton #1 of the Carolina Panthers looks to pass against the Oakland Raiders during their NFL game on November 27, 2016 in Oakland, California.  (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images) TAMPA, FL - NOVEMBER 27:  Quarterback Russell Wilson #3 of the Seattle Seahawks runs for several yards on the quarterback keeper during the second quarter of an NFL game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on November 27, 2016 at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Florida. (Photo by Brian Blanco/Getty Images)
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  3. TAMPA, FL - NOVEMBER 27:  Quarterback Jameis Winston #3 of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers looks for a receiver during the third quarter of an NFL game against the Seattle Seahawks on November 27, 2016 at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Florida. (Photo by Brian Blanco/Getty Images) SAN DIEGO, CA - NOVEMBER 13:  Philip Rivers #17 of the San Diego Chargers passes the ball during a game against the Miami Dolphins at Qualcomm Stadium on November 13, 2016 in San Diego, California.  (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)
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