Its the kind of thing you suspect that Lovie Smith already has brought up in a team meeting and use throughout the 2012 season to create a nobody-believes-in-you theme to motivate his team.
After a season in which the Bears went from 7-3 to 7-8 before saving a .500 season with a Week 17 win at Minnesota, the head coach can point to oddsmakers setting the early line on his Bears at 8 12 wins for this season.
Meaning: Jay Cutler was only going to be worth maybe one more win for his team without a fractured thumb to take him out for the final six games.
Meaning: Adding Michael Bush, Brandon Marshall, Alshon Jeffery, Shea McClellin and other elements will net the Bears only a half-game more with bettors this season over last.
Meaning: The Bears, who had jumped past Detroit last season before the injuries to Cutler and Matt Forte, are now back beneath the Lions in NFC North projections. The Lions are set at 9 12 wins, behind Green Bay at a projected 12 wins.
Minnesota, which has franchise running back Adrian Peterson trying to come back from a torn ACL, is given double its three-win total of last year, in at six.
Think the Bears, players, coaches and more dont pay attention to such things? Lets see how often its all mentioned even before opening day.