Predicting Bears’ 2015 record: 7-9 or 9-7?

SHARE Predicting Bears’ 2015 record: 7-9 or 9-7?
SHARE Predicting Bears’ 2015 record: 7-9 or 9-7?

When the Bears announced their 2015 schedule Tuesday, it opened up scenarios and storylines for what is quickly becoming a popular parlor game: Guess the Record.

The Sun-Times’ Adam Jahns and Patrick Finley took their best guess. One says they’ll be in the playoff hunt, and the other predicts they’ll be below .500.

Here’s a look at their guesses, game by game:

Week 1 — vs. Packers

PATRICK FINLEY: It seems wrong to open with the Packers — like having dessert before dinner. And while I’m sure you could make a case for a competitive game — Aaron Rodgers is 0-3 lifetime against Vic Fangio’s 49ers defense! — let’s get real for a second. Since he last lost at Soldier Field in 2010, the Packers quarterback has played four road games against the Bears, totaling 12 touchdowns, three interceptions and an average of 302 yards. Bet it happens again.PREDICTION: LOSS

ADAM L. JAHNS: You said, but you ignored it, Pat. Fangio has a read on Rodgers. Now, Fangio might not have the same overall talent as he did with 49ers, but I’m thinking he finds ways to maximize players that were in the wrong spots last season. Rodgers is great at Soldier Field, but the Bears are overdue to defend their turf. It’s been too long. I have a shocker in Week 1.PREDICTION: WIN

Week 2 — vs. Cardinals

JAHNS: Welcome back to Chicago, Bruce Arians. The coach that the Bears didn’t want two years ago will come in hot. I actually see a close game, but the Cardinals really get after quarterback Jay Cutler. PREDICTION: LOSS

FINLEY: If Bill Swerski’s Superfans had Mini-Ditka and Hurricane Ditka, why not Bizarro Ditka? Had the Bears hired Bruce Arians, he’d be a legend here already. Not in Week 2, though; Western teams traveling east tend to struggle, and the Cardinals need to prove they can move the ball. A mild upset.PREDICTION: WIN

Week 3 — at Seahawks

FINLEY: After starting the season on the road with a game in St. Louis and a “Sunday Night Football” contest at Lambeau Field, the Seahawks are playing their home opener against the Bears. Think the fans will be excited to see Jimmy Graham and Co.PREDICTION: LOSS

JAHNS: I’m not sure a lot has to be said here for this matchup. The Seahawks are Super Bowl contenders. They are in their prime. The Bears have so much to prove.PREDICTION: LOSS

Week 4 — vs. Raiders

JAHNS: Finally a matchup worth celebrating for the fans. After three tough games, the Bears face the lowly Raiders for the first time at Soldier Field since 2003. Oakland may have found its franchise QB in Derek Carr, but the Raiders still are a worse team than the Bears.PREDICTION: WIN

FINLEY: John Fox lost his first Broncos regular-season game ever to the Raiders. Since then, he’s gone 7-0, winning by margins of 14, 31, 13, 16, 20, 24 and 33. Derek Carr or no Derek Carr, Fox should win again.PREDICTION: WIN

Week 5 — at Chiefs

FINLEY: The Bears haven’t won at Arrowhead Stadium since 1993. I blame the barbecue, of which Arthur Bryant’s is the best. Anyone who prefers Gates is lying, or has bad taste, or both. Where were we? Oh, yeah. The Bears never win in KC because they’ve played there only five times, ever. They’ll lose here, too.PREDICTION: LOSS

JAHNS: Quit drooling on your keyboard, Pat. I don’t think the Chiefs are that good. I think they’re formidable, sure. Coach John Fox and offensive coordinator Adam Gase won all four matchups with Andy Reid the past two seasons. Fox and Gase have a different team in Chicago, but a similar result isn’t completely crazy thinking.PREDICTION: WIN

Week 6 — at Lions

JAHNS: The Lions’ defense won’t be the same after losing Ndamukong Suh and Nick Fairley. But I’m not expecting the Bears to end their losing ways against them in this one at Ford Field.PREDICTION: LOSS

FINLEY: They’ve still got Megatron, though, and that might be enough. Here, though, I think attrition will get the Lions before the Bears do. Their five games of the year are doozies: at the Chargers, at the Vikings, vs. the Broncos, at the Seahawks and vs. the Cardinals. Bears beat a beat-up Lions team.PREDICTION: WIN

Week 7 — Bye

Week 8 — vs. Vikings

FINLEY: Marc Trestman won three NFC North games: two were against the Vikings, and the third was the Aaron Rodgers injury game. If the Bears can’t beat the Vikes at home after a bye, well, they’ve got trouble.PREDICTION: WIN

JAHNS: The Vikings may not have Adrian Peterson if he gets traded. But they could have Todd Gurley if he’s drafted. That said, this is a winnable game for the Bears — a must really before two road games.PREDICTION: WIN

Week 9 — at Chargers

JAHNS: San Diego may be Finley’s happy place (it’s his hometown, by the way), but right now quarterback Philip Rivers and safety Eric Weddle don’t like it. Big changes seem to be coming for the LA Chargers (sorry for the Freudian slip). PREDICTION: WIN

FINLEY: I’m crying in my fish tacos already. I need to know whether the Chargers will have Rivers or Weddle, or not. They could be contenders or in a complete “Major League”-style keep-the-fans-away and move-the-team tear-down. I think the former. Also, expect a 4,000-word first-person story about my three-year peanut vending career at Qualcomm Stadium.PREDICTION: LOSS

WEEK 10 — at Rams

FINLEY: The Farewell (?) Tour continues: one week after playing perhaps their last game ever in San Diego, it’s the same in St. Louis, whose Rams are also eyeing smoggier pastures in LA. The Bears will give the Rams — and their stellar defensive line — a parting gift.PREDICTION: LOSS

JAHNS: The Long bowl still is in big brother Chris’ favor. The Rams figure to have one of the best defenses in the NFL in 2015. I mean it could be scary good.PREDICTION: LOSS

Week 11 — vs. Broncos

JAHNS: Fox and Gase get a shot at their former team for the first time, and they have a good read on how to handle quarterback Peyton Manning from both sides of the ball. A chilly, breezy late November day will help against Manning, who doesn’t throw the ball quite the same.PREDICTION: WIN

FINLEY: Are you kidding me, Jahns? You’ve got the Bears beating the NFC’s No. 2 seed last year to start the season and now the AFC’s No. 2 seed in Week 11. And you’re telling me a breeze will bother the Broncos? They’re from Denver! Bears fans better pray for Brock Osweiler.PREDICTION: LOSS

WEEK 12 — at Packers

FINLEY: In the Game of the Year, the Bears walk into a Thanksgiving buzzsaw. Unless Rodgers is somehow hurt. In which case I suggest bringing Brett Favre, who’s having his jersey retired at halftime, out of mothballs to start the game. Fitting tribute. Great night for football, grisly one for the Bears.PREDICTION: LOSS

JAHNS: You just know Rodgers is going to be on top of his game on Favre’s big night. He carves the Bears up like a Thanksgiving turkey.PREDICTION: LOSS

Week 13 — vs. 49ers

JAHNS: Fangio gets his chance for revenge. And let’s be honest, the 49ers are a mess. Without Fangio or Jim Harbaugh, who knows what San Fran will be. And don’t forget all their personnel changes, too. This isn’t the bad matchup it was first thought to be.PREDICITON: WIN

FINLEY: Both the Bears’ coordinators — Fangio and Gase — interviewed for, but didn’t get, the 49ers job. Think they might want to stick it to Jed York? The Niners’ fall from grace could be unprecedented. Also, the citizenry hates when you call it “San Fran.” And “Frisco.”PREDICTION: WIN

WEEK 14 — vs. Redskins

FINLEY: Since tearing his knee in the 2012 playoffs, Robert Griffin III has started 22 games and won exactly five of them. In one win, against the Jaguars, he threw two passes. And another was against the Bears. (Sad trombone). Not this year.PREDICTION: WIN

JAHNS: I’m guessing RG3 is run out of our nation’s capital before this matchup. It’ll make for a pleasant late-season game at Soldier Field.PREDICTION: WIN

Week 15 — at Vikings

JAHNS: The Vikings started playing better late last season, and I’m expecting the same. Bridgewater takes the next step in his development by this game, which is back at the University of Minnesota.PREDICTION: LOSS

FINLEY: The highlight of Week 17 was watching George McCaskey, seated 10 feet from the press box, and soon-to-be-fired GM Phil Emery share a perch while they watched the game. The outcome will be the same, though the sense of foreboding won’t.PREDICTION: LOSS

WEEK 16 — at Buccaneers

FINLEY: Assuming Lovie Smith drafts a quarterback next week, he should be pretty good by this time of year. Teddy Bridgewater, in Week 17, showed the Bears first-hand what a year of seasoning can do for a rookie. Unfortunately for Lovie and Chris Conte and Henry Melton and everyone else at Bears South, the Bucs aren’t very good, even if their quarterback might be.PREDICTION: WIN

JAHNS: Taking Jameis Winston with the first overall pick makes for more problems for Lovie in Tampa Bay. Lovie may have more ex-Bears with him, but a major improvement shouldn’t be expected. This will be another tough year for Lovie in Florida.PREDICTION: WIN

Week 17 — vs. Lions

JAHNS: Somehow I’ve made the Bears out to be a decent team. Crazy, I know. But it’s April. It’s getting nice out (eventually). Either way, I have the Lions in this one because they’re a legitimate playoff team.PREDICTION: LOSS

FINLEY: So you’ve got the Bears starting 9-6 and then losing at home to the Lions? Crazy is EXACTLY right. I’ll take the Lions here, too, but only because my predictions have the Bears going the entire second half without beating a decent team.That makes my version of the Bears 7-9 — or 8-8, if the Chargers decide to trade Philip Rivers in for a rookie quarterback and a year of rebuilding. PREDICTION: LOSS

Final Bears record:

Jahns: 9-7

Finley: 7-9


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