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

Predicting the value of Roquan Smith's rookie contract with Bears

Predicting the value of Roquan Smith's rookie contract with Bears

Chicago Bears first-round pick Roquan Smith remains unsigned, a situation that prior to the rookie wage scale would've been cause for concern. With contracts now based on slotting, or where a first-round pick is selected, there's little reason or room for agents to haggle over terms. A holdout isn't expected.

There have been some exceptions to this general principle, however. Joey Bosa, who was selected with the third pick by the Chargers in 2016, held out until August 29 over offset language and his signing bonus. So, while a holdout for Smith is unlikely, it's not impossible.

Assuming he agrees to a contract on time, here's what the terms of his deal should look like, according to CBS Sports:

2018 Cap Number: $3,349,485
Signing Bonus: $11,517,940
Four-year value: $18,477,168

If the numbers are correct, Smith will have the 17th-highest cap hit for the Bears in 2018, according to Spotrac. By comparison, Danny Trevathan has a $7.15 million cap hit this season.

Drafting well is critical for long-term success. If a general manager misses on first-round picks, the cap consequences mount over time. Consider Kevin White, the seventh-overall pick in 2015. He has zero touchdowns in his pro career but has a $5.27 million cap hit this year. Leonard Floyd, the team's first-rounder in 2016, has a $4.30 million cap hit and Mitch Trubisky, last year's second pick overall, is $6.59 million. Pace's four first-round picks, when counting Smith's expected deal, are four of the top-17 paid players on the payroll even though none of them have the production to back it up.

Smith, however, is as close to a bust-free prospect as the Bears have drafted in Pace's tenure. He was considered one of the best pure football players in the entire 2018 draft class and will start immediately alongside Trevathan as a rookie, assuming he's under contract in time to contribute in Week 1.

Which Bears have the highest player rating in Madden 19?

Which Bears have the highest player rating in Madden 19?

The time has come to start counting down to the release of Madden 19. The most popular football video game franchise of all-time is set to release in early August and as is a tradition with the weeks leading up to the game appearing on store shelves, leaks about features and player ratings have started.

Here are the highest rated Bears players in this year's edition:

Adrian Amos leads the way with an 88 rating, followed by Akiem Hicks (85) and Allen Robinson (85). 

Chicago's offense received a 75 overall rating, which should result in a significant challenge for Bears fans trying to score virtual points later this summer. The defense, however, will be stout, coming in with an overall rating of 81. Amos and Hicks have a lot to do with that.

Ratings are subject to change due to injury. Madden 19 is scheduled for release on August 10.