The Chicago Bears’ season hasn’t gone according to plan, and the fan base has proven as such. A huge topic that’s swirled around this season has been how the fans have booed all too often. Chicago won three of their first four games, then proceeded to lose four straight by a total of 23 points. More recently, the Bears have won three of four to turn their season around, slightly, pushing them to the .500 (6-6) mark.
By stringing together some wins, the Bears have kept their playoff hopes alive. Right now, Chicago currently trails the Minnesota Vikings by three games for a Wild Card spot. It’s possible the Bears can gain a game back if the Vikings happen to lose to the Seahawks to round out Week 13 on December 2.
Looking ahead to their last quarter of games, Chicago hosts the Dallas Cowboys and Kansas City Chiefs. They also play at Green Bay and finish the season at Minnesota. Currently, all four teams would be in the playoffs. One way you look at it, the Bears could miraculously make it into the playoffs, or they could at least hurt some other teams’ chances of making it.
Offense picking up their slack
Matt Nagy brought something up recently after one of their recent wins. He noted how the team was playing similar to how they played earlier in the season, but the offense was putting things together now. Mitchell Trubisky has slowly turned the corner and his confidence has risen. The past couple of games, he’s thrown seven touchdowns and three picks for just under 800 yards.
Allen Robinson has a couple receiving touchdowns to go with 303 yards with their three recent wins. Anthony Miller has picked up his game as well, racking up 271 yards, 140 of which came from their win against Detroit on Thanksgiving.
Don’t get too hyped yet
While these stats and facts are all positive, one thing that can’t be looked past is the quarterbacks they’ve faced. The Bears’ defense was one of the best in the league coming into this season, and they played like it early. A couple of things to note is how the defense has slowly declined and the teams they’ve faced haven’t been great, to say the least.
It’s been noted how reliant the team has been on the defense, and how it’s slowly worn them down. Of course, injuries don’t help either, with Akiem Hicks being a primary example. While the Bears have lost six games this season, many have been by one score or less, in large part due to their strong defense. Now that the offense has picked up their end, the defense has time to recharge and their effectiveness on the field has been constant.
The second thing to note is who the Bears have played in their last four games (Lions twice, Giants and Rams). Playing Detroit the first time, the Bears avoided having to play franchise QB Matthew Stafford, by matching up with Jeff Driskel in his place. Driskel has only been in the league two years prior, but still managed to throw for 269 yards and led the Lions in rushing.
The second time around, the Lions had rookie QB David Blough on the field. His first NFL pass was a deep completion to Kenny Golladay who wound up scoring. Blough finished with 280 yards passing and two touchdowns, along with a late interception in the red zone, in a close 24-20 game.
The Bears also faced rookie sensation Daniel Jones in another tight 19-14 win, allowing 150 yards from Jones and two touchdowns. Jared Goff has shown elite play at times, but this season has been one to forget. He had another off night with the Bears picking off one of his 18 passing attempts while allowing two touchdowns (both rushing) in a 17-7 loss.
The point it this. While the defense, and the Bears in general, haven’t managed to play consistently this season, they’ve done just enough to stay afloat. The next four weeks will be a gauntlet, and while the Bears probably won’t make the playoffs, they aren’t totally dead yet. Finishing .500 on the season at this point would be satisfactory, with hopeful wins over Green Bay and at least Minnesota, if not beating a somewhat slumping Cowboys squad.
Keep your heads up Bears Nation. Hopefully, more wins will come, but if not, the pain of this season will be over soon. Bear Down.