Of the 20 NFL teams that failed to make the playoffs last year, NFL Network analyst Brian Billick thinks that the Bears have the best chance to win the Super Bowl this season.
"With arguably the most talented set of offensive skill players in the entire NFL-headlined by Brandon Marshall, Alshon Jeffery, Matt Forte and Martellus Bennett-the Chicago Bears are capable of lighting up the scoreboard, as proven by last year's second-ranked scoring offense," Billick writes in an "Instant Debate" segment on NFL.com.
"But of course, they must greatly improve a defensive unit that ranked near the bottom in almost every major statistical category. The Bears did well by adding Lamarr Houston and Jared Allen to revamp a defensive front that accumulated just 31 sacks last season (tied for worst in the league). Also, Chicago convinced Charles Tillman to return rather than reunite with former coach Lovie Smith in Tampa Bay."
Billick, who coached the Ravens to a Super Bowl championship in 2000, was the only one among six NFL.com analysts to select the Bears as the non-playoff team with the best chance to win the title this year. The Ravens drew three votes, while the Giants and Steelers each received one.
Two of the last five Super Bowl champions did not make the playoffs the previous season. Both of those teams—the 2009 Saints and 2011 Giants—had 8-8 records the previous year, the same mark the Bears compiled in 2013.