The #Bears lost another D-lineman. Depth is becoming a concern. My take from camp - http://t.co/uSnoeOJVylLosing backup lineman, and former first round busts, like Sedrick Ellis and Turk McBride isn't devastating news for any team, but the fact that the Bears might have been counting on them isn't a good sign.
— Hub Arkush (@Hub_Arkush) July 29, 2013
However, after I read the chapter on the Bears in the 2013 Football Outsiders Almanac, it looks like things might not be that bad for them. They liked the addition of two legitimate offensive lineman (Jermon Bushrod, Kyle Long) and their great 2012 defense is largely intact. The loss of Urlacher, who slipped badly in last season, could actually become an upgrade if their second round pick (LB Jon Bostic) works out.
In the end, the Outsiders predict there's an 8% chance the Bears will wind up with the first overall pick in 2014 and a 16% chance they'll be in the Super Bowl hunt. Their title hopes aren't as strong as the Packers (1% chance of first pick, 52% chance of a Super Bowl run), but much better than the Lions (15% chance of first pick, 11% chance of Super Bowl run) or the Vikings (37% chance of first pick, 3% chance of Super Bowl run).
The Lions have some major injury risks that are probably holding down their projection, but I was surprised by the extent their projection system hated the Vikings. However, the Vikings did have the third overall pick in 2012 for a (bad) reason and I'm certainly not a Christian Ponder believer. Giving the Bears four games against two teams that might struggle next season would certainly give them a boost.
The Bears were only one game behind the Packers last season for the NFC North crown, those two wins over the Bears last season loomed large, but while I'm not sure about the changes they made last offseason, they still appear to be the team most likely to challenge the Packers for the division title.