2017 should be an interesting year for fans of the Chicago bears, marking the 98th season for the team, and the third consecutive season for head coach John Fox.2016 wasn’t the best year by anyone’s interpretation, with the team recording a record of 3 – 13. Changes have been made in the off-season, with movement occurring throughout the coaching structure. Earlier this year, it was announced that Stan Drayton, the team’s running backs coach, would be leaving for the Texas Longhorns. Dave Magazu was also released from his position as the offensive line coach, along with Sam Garnes, who was assistant defensive backs coach.As with every season, there were plenty of player changes to note, with quarterbacks Matt Barkley and Brian Hoyer leaving the team, along with wide receiver Alshon Jeffery. Mike Glennon has been brought in to replace Barkley, although there is some debate amongst analysts as to whether he will represent any kind of upgrade for the team. Expert predictions are varied for the coming year, and while none are being overly optimistic about increases in performance this season, there may be some positives to come in the 2017 season.

ESPN Key Predictions for the Chicago Bears in 2017

The ESPN NFL expert panel has a slightly more optimistic outlook for the Bears this year. Predicting an improved record of 6 – 10, based partially on the fact that the Bears will have opportunities to perform in their hosted games against both Cleveland and San Francisco. However, the panel does note that there are going to be some serious challenges, right from the first game of the Bears’ season. The team will open against ‘almost’ champions the Atlanta Falcons, and difficult games against the Green Bay Packers and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers will follow later.

Jonathan Jones Predicts the 2017 Chicago Bears Season Record

Jonathan Jones is the National NFL Writer for Sports Illustrated, and his contributions are seen in other leading publications like the Miami Herald, The Guardian, the Boston Herald, and plenty more. Jones predicts that 2017 will be an even worse season for the Bears, commenting that Mike Glennon and other key members of the team will neither present a challenge or represent any kind of intimidation for opposing teams. Like other experts, Jones comments that the brutal opening games will be damaging to the team.Jones final prediction is a record of 2 – 14, and notes that the team’s Week 16 game against the Browns will be pivotal, not exactly for the action on the gridiron, but due to the very real possibility of it deciding who will pick first in the 2018 draft.

Richard Janvrin Predicts the 2017 Bears Season

Richard Janvrin from Bleacher Report doesn’t see the team making an impact at the beginning of this year’s season, again, thanks to the fact that they will be facing some of the toughest teams in the sport. The Week 1 game against the Atlanta Falcons is Janvrin’s predicted toughest game of the season, with Janvrin believing that the Bears won’t have anything to show against the type of offense that the Falcons can produce. Keep in mind that the Falcons were extremely close to a title last season, and it becomes clear that the Bears aren’t going to have much to say in that first game.Later in the season there could be some high points for the bears, with the opportunity for a win against the San Francisco 49ers in Week 13, and again against the Cleveland Browns in Week 16. With all things considered, Janvrin doesn’t expect the team to improve on last year’s record with a final 2017 record prediction of 3 – 13.

Chris Roling Predicts the Chicago Bears 2017 Season

Chris Roling, another contributor from the Bleacher Report, holds a slightly more optimistic view for the Bears in the upcoming season, with a predicted record of 7 – 9. Roling even dares to go into some specific predictions for games throughout the season.For the first game vs the Falcons, a prediction of 30 – 17 (to the Falcons, of course) has been offered. What you might not expect, is his prediction for the Week 2 game at Tampa Bay. Roling predicts the Bears to narrowly edge out the Buccaneers, explaining that both teams are in a rebuild phase, and a win for the Buccaneers is by no means guaranteed. Roling predicts that the Bears have the opportunity to control the pace of the game, which could turn things in their favor. This NFL expert also sees the Week 5 game against Minnesota as an opportunity for a win, predicting 20 – 17 in favor of the Bears.

Erik Lambert’s Predictions for the Chicago Bears 2017 Record

Lambert is another respected sports writer who presents an optimistic prediction for the Bears in 2017. Predicting a final record of 7 – 9, Lambert recognizes the lack of confidence that both the public and experts have in the team, but believes that they still might be able to deliver on some key occasions. Lambert believes that a win in Week 2 is possible against the Buccaneers, helped by a slightly improved roster. Interestingly, Lambert notes that Glennon could be instrumental in a win against Tampa. In Week 7, Lambert predicts the team can beat the Carolina Panthers with a strong front 7 that will overcome Carolina’s relatively weak offensive line. Other wins predicted include games against the Lions in Week 11, the 49ers in Week 13, and the Cleveland Browns in Week 16.Although there’s some variation in the predictions for the Chicago Bears in 2017, it’s safe to say that nobody expects the team to become top contenders any time in the future. Still firmly entrenched at the bottom of the NFL, Chicago has a long road ahead to gain back some of the confidence and respect that has been lost in the past four years. Could 2017 be the year that an upward trend begins? If you believe some of the expert predictions, then it might just be.

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