1. Do you feel that the Bears have gotten better or worse since firing Marc Trestman and replacing him with John Fox?
Miles and miles better. The Bears roster is still in shambles thanks to three years of awful decisions made by former GM Phil Emery (2012- 2014), so with new GM Ryan Pace taking the reins, he's had a LOT to overcome. Trestman was a bad head coach and certainly didn't make things any better, but the bigger issues are thanks to Emery. John Fox has done an admirable job getting things stabilized, and has done a great job of turning that locker room around. Plus, having Adam Gase and Vic Fangio as his coordinators doesn't hurt either. Again, the record doesn't show it, yet. But we all know it's a 2-3 year process in getting a team turned aroun.
2. Is Jay Cutler still the future QB of the Bears?
This is his next-to-last season under contract, and is playing the best football of his career this season under the tutelage of offensive coordinator Adam Gase. Reports surfaced that the team tried trading him last offseason, but with his massive contract, it is no surprise that there were no takers. Anything can happen, but I think the Bears are seeing what Cutler can do when he has an OC that knows what they are doing, and weapons around him to work with. I think the Bears keep him around for the last year of his contract.
3. How will the offense change without Matt Forte or Eddie Royal out there?
Rookie running back Jeremy Langford is the heir-apparent to Matt Forte, and by all accounts the team really likes him as the future starter once Forte hangs up the cleats. He is a different running back than Forte, but primarily just because if the experience factor. Langford should be able to carry the load with Forte sidelined, so we'll see how he responds to his first NFL start being on a national spotlight. As for Royal being out, the Bears have dealt with wide receiver injuries all season long. Royal is a solid veteran, but Cutler will still have Alshon Jeffery and Martellus Bennett to work with.
4. How will the Bears try to slow down Philip Rivers and the high-powered Chargers passing offense?
If the defense can't get pressure on Rivers, they are in trouble. The success of our defense is predicated on being able to disrupt the quarterback, and while there have been a few flashes this season, there have been far too many games where the quarterback was completely clean at the end of the game. Vic Fangio will have to really be creative with the scheme, but at the end of the day it's on the players to execute. And I'm not sure that they will be able to sustain for an entire game.
5. Obligatory game prediction.
I've picked the Bears for a couple upsets this season, but this isn't one I'm feeling too hot about. We had two weeks to prepare for last week's game against the Vikings, and still managed to poop the bed. I think the Bears can beat the Chargers, but I don't think they will. 31-20 San Diego.