Week 1: Chicago Bears Vs. Indianapolis Colts

Divisional Playoffs - Seattle Seahawks v Chicago Bears
Indianapolis Colts v Pittsburgh Steelers
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.
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.
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.


  1. LOS ANGELES, CA - OCTOBER 20: Javier Baez #9 of the Chicago Cubs celebrates after winning 8-4 against the Los Angeles Dodgers in game five of the National League Division Series at Dodger Stadium on October 20, 2016 in Los Angeles, California.  (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images) TORONTO, ON - OCTOBER 18:  Francisco Lindor #12 of the Cleveland Indians bats in the first inning against Aaron Sanchez #41 of the Toronto Blue Jays during game four of the American League Championship Series at Rogers Centre on October 18, 2016 in Toronto, Canada.  (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
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  2. MINNEAPOLIS, MN - OCTOBER 9: Quarterback Brock Osweiler #17 of the Houston Texans drops back to pass during the first quarter of the game on October 9, 2016 at US Bank Stadium in Minneapolis, Minnesota. (Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images) SAN DIEGO, CA - OCTOBER 13:  Trevor Siemian #13 of the Denver Broncos warms up before the game against the San Diego Chargers at Qualcomm Stadium on October 13, 2016 in San Diego, California.  (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
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  3. SEATTLE, WA - OCTOBER 16:  Quarterback Russell Wilson #3 of the Seattle Seahawks passes against the Atlanta Falcons at CenturyLink Field on October 16, 2016 in Seattle, Washington.  (Photo by Jonathan Ferrey/Getty Images) GLENDALE, AZ - OCTOBER 17:  Quarterback Carson Palmer #3 of the Arizona Cardinals looks to make a pass against the New York Jets in the first half of the NFL game at University of Phoenix Stadium on October 17, 2016 in Glendale, Arizona.  (Photo by Norm Hall/Getty Images)
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