Before you all start clamoring for the Minnesota Vikings or Washington Redskins in this spot (heck, throw the Indianapolis Colts in here for the AFC), read this article from the National Football Post and you will realize why none of those teams cracked a spot in the Top 12. From that list of teams, I only have one in the top 12, so I am still above the statistical average in that regard.
The Chicago Bears have been proven winners year after year, with a few set backs now and then. They added talent in free agency and the draft, so I see no reason for this team not to duplicate their 10-6 season from a year ago.
11. Chicago Bears (2012 Record: 10-6)
As is typical of Jay Cutler teams, the Bears tend to underachieve in spite of their tremendous talent level. They have successfully re-created the Broncos teams of 2007-2008 by bringing in D.J. Williams. I joke, of course, since this Bears team has a far superior defense to anything the Broncos had during those years. Cutler does tend to come up short in games that matter though, which is why I have them finishing no better than second in the NFC North.
They are finally starting to realize that Cutler isn't able to stay healthy behind a horrible offensive line, so they are starting to put stock into a high draft picks for those positions. I can't imagine how pissed the front office was to have seven offensive linemen coming off the board before their Kyle Long pick at #20. Even so, they stuck with their plan to give Cutler the protection he needs to have a chance to win football games.
The talent is there to be in every game on their schedule, but the question is whether their stars can find a way to stay healthy for an entire season. The Bears are still weak on the offensive line, so that's going to cost them games again this year, so I'm going to say they just miss the playoffs again this year.
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