Bears

Moon's game-by-game predictions for Bears in 2016

Moon's game-by-game predictions for Bears in 2016

Week 1: at Houston Texans (9-7) Sun., Sept. 11 at 12 p.m.

Mediocre team slipped into playoffs for mauling by Chiefs, then went after Brock Osweiler to fix QB issues for (they hope) at least next four years and added offense with RB Lamar Miller from Miami, G Jeff Allen from Kansas City and C Tony Bergstrom from Oakland. J.J. Watt says he’s beat-up but he’s more the beater than the beaten.

Moon's call: L

Week 2: Philadelphia Eagles (7-9) Mon., Sept. 19 at 7:30 p.m.

Iggles gambling that Doug Pederson can do what Chip Kelly couldn’t, which would surprise most of the NFL. Sam Bradford got a huge ($20 million per) two-year extension and Eagles traded away DeMarco Murray, so what inexperienced coach who was once Brett Favre’s backup does with this offense will be interesting.

Moon’s call: W

Week 3: at Dallas Cowboys (4-12) Mon., Sept. 25 at 7:30 p.m.

Wheels and entire drivetrain fell off when Tony Romo hurt last season, and few teams capable of underachieving as well as Cowboys (one winning season since 2009). Still one of NFL’s elite OL’s but Jay Cutler has 118.0 career passer rating vs. Dallas.

Moon’s call: L

Week 4: Detroit Lions (7-9) Sun., Oct. 2 at 12 p.m.

Bears hemorrhaged yardage to lose in OT at Detroit and turned the ball and the game over in Soldier Field in game 16. Both of those problems should be fixed when Bears and Lions convene in 2016. Expect the Bears to take both games this year from a Detroit team that loses Calvin Johnson, was NFL’s worst rushing team and has issues winning up front with either line.

Moon’s call: W

Week 5: at Indianapolis Colts (8-8) Sun., Oct. 9 at 12 p.m.

Andrew Luck had career-worst INT percentage (4.1) amid injury speckled year and starting just seven games, going just 2-5 in those. Colts settled organization with Grigson, Pagano extensions, don’t have WR Andre Johnson or TE Coby Fleener back for Luck targets, but the Colts are very good at home with a healthy No. 1 QB.

Moon's call: L

Week 6: Jacksonville Jaguars (5-11) Sun., Oct. 16 at 12 p.m.

Jags dumped Lovie Smith pal Bob Babich as defensive coordinator and upgraded with Malik Jackson on DL and Tashaun Gipson at S. Getting RB Chris Ivory via free agency will help offense but the Jags were 1-7 on road last year and haven’t won more than five games since 2010 or had winning season since 2007. Their draft pick at No. 5 will help somewhere but too much needed.

Moon’s call: W

Week 7: at Green Bay Packers (10-6) Thurs., Oct. 20 at 7:25 p.m.

The Packers were the one NFC North opponent that the Bears managed a win against in 2015. Green Bay gets wideout Jordy Nelson back from a knee injury that cost him for the year but the defense loses nose tackle B.J. Raji to retirement after Raji missed just five games total over six NFL seasons. But this is still the team to beat in the NFC North as long as No. 12 is in place. Aaron Rodgers had worst passing year in seven seasons as starter and Packers still won 10 games. Bears of John Fox should be beyond automatically losing both to Packers every year.

Moon’s call: L

Week 8: Minnesota Vikings (11-5) Mon., Oct. 31 at 7:30 p.m.

When Green Bay stumbled even a little, the Vikings behind Teddy Bridgewater slipped ahead of them with a 5-1 division mark, including two W’s vs. the Bears, who squandered multiple game-winning moments in meeting 1. Vikings still have OL issues with Bears ramping up their front-seven, and Bears won’t give up 10 points in final 1:49 of a game the way they did to lose in Soldier Field last November.

Moon’s call: L

Week 9: BYE

Week 10: at Tampa Bay (6-10) Sun., Nov. 13 at 12 p.m.

Slimy handling of Lovie Smith-to-Dirk Koetter coaching change unlikely to improve internal chemistry but Bucs aggressive in talent upgrades at all three levels of “D” plus adding G J.R. Sweezy to block for Jameis Winston and new-contract’ed RB Doug Martin. Bears needed four FGs to beat Bucs last year but should score more this time.

Moon's call: W

Week 11: at New York Giants (6-10) Sun., Nov. 20 at 12 p.m.

Do the Giants get better replacing Tom Coughlin with Ben McAdoo, who’s never been a head coach at any level, including high school, and just last two years as an offensive coordinator? Or with losing 2/5 of starting OL? Not likely.

Moon’s call:   W

Week 12: Tennessee Titans (3-13) Sun., Nov. 27 at 12 p.m.

Mike Mularkey has the “interim” tag removed and the Titans deal for RB DeMarco Murray to give QB Marcus Mariota some help. But only the woeful Browns scored fewer among AFC teams last year. The Titans’ draft trade-down with the Rams gave them a huge basket of picks, clearly looking beyond just 2016. Not good enough yet, though.

Moon’s call: W

Week 13: San Francisco 49ers (5-11) Sun., Dec. 4 at 12 p.m.

Jim Tomsula accomplished next to nothing in his one year as coach but he did manage the 49ers’ lone road win, at Chicago. Since Tomsula’s firing, Chip Kelly has been sorting through QB issues and there are major questions about 49ers’ scheme choices on defense. The Bears cannot unravel vs. San Francisco again…can they?

Moon’s call: W

Week 14: at Detroit Lions, Sun., Dec. 11 at 12 p.m.

Moon's call: W

Week 15: Green Bay Packers, Sun., Dec. 18 at 12 p.m.

Moon's call: W

Week 16: Washington Redskins (9-7) Sun., Dec. 24 at 12 p.m.

The Bears helped Kirk Cousins’ bid for franchise-tag money, allowing 24 completions in 31 attempts, and being annihilated by TE Jordan Reed (9-120-1). Defense allowed touchdown drives of 80, 83 yards on first two possessions in one of too many slow starts, and the offense got 290 passing yards and two TD’s from Cutler. The Redskins stayed conservative in free agency with GM Scot McCloughan tilting toward draft.

Moon’s call:   W

Week 17: Minnesota Vikings, Sun., Jan. 1 at 12 p.m.

Moon's call: L

Final record: 10-6

Controversial calls played a large part in the Detroit Lions NFC North loss on Monday night

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USA TODAY

Controversial calls played a large part in the Detroit Lions NFC North loss on Monday night

The Green Bay Packers managed to pull off a dramatic comeback victory on Monday night, defeating the Detroit Lions 23-22 on a last-second field goal from Mason Crosby. But after the game, it wasn't Aaron Rodgers usual clutch ways that people were talking about, it was the officiating crew, who had two controversial hands to the face penalty calls against the Lions that all but killed any momentum they had going. 

As you can see in the clip above, both hands to the face calls seemed questionable at best, and downright ludicrous at worst. What makes the calls so tough is the timing. The first hands to the face penalty on Lions DE Trey Flowers came after he sacked Rodgers on third-and-10 and the penalty both took away the sack and provided the Pack with an automatic first down. Later in the drive, Rodgers dropped in a great 35-yard touchdown pass to bring Green Bay within two points 

The second questionable hands to the face call came on third-and-4 and it was the most costly call of the game. The Packers received another automatic first down and ran down the clock—Detroit was out of timeouts—to set up the eventual game-winning, walk-off field goal from Crosby. 

And it didn't take long for many people, everyone from former NFL greats to NFL reporters, to chime in on social media with their thoughts on the officiating that seemingly cost Detroit a crucial win. 

With the Green Bay win, the Lions moved to last-place in the NFC North, while the Bears now sit 2.5 games back of first place heading into their Week 7 matchup against the New Orleans Saints.

NFC North Standings: Bears 2.5 games behind Packers entering Week 7

NFC North Standings: Bears 2.5 games behind Packers entering Week 7

The Green Bay Packers and quarterback Aaron Rodgers pulled off another incredible (or maybe controversial) victory over the Detroit Lions in Monday night's NFC North slugfest, 23-22, to advance to 5-1 and in sole possession of first place in the NFC North.

It was the worst possible outcome for the Chicago Bears, who could've used a little help from the Lions to keep pace with Green Bay entering Week 7.

Instead, the Bears (3-2) are now 2.5 games behind the Packers ahead of their showdown with the New Orleans Saints Sunday at Soldier Field.

It could be worse for Chicago. Detroit's loss drops their record to 2-2-1 on the season and moves them into the division's cellar. Meanwhile, the Minnesota Vikings had arguably their strongest showing of the season in their 38-20 victory over the Eagles and improved to 4-2 on the year. Their four wins slot them ahead of the Bears for second place in the North even though Chicago currently owns the head-to-head tiebreaker.

Here are the NFC North standings heading into Week 7:

1) Packers (5-1)
2) Vikings (4-2)
3) Bears (3-2)
4) Lions (2-2-1)