Things could be looking up for the Chicago Bears.
It was an ugly start to the season for the Chicago Bears. The injuries piled up. The offense was out of sync. The Bears plummeted to the bottom of most NFL power rankings. John Fox’s job security started to get questioned and the Ryan Pace plan was seriously doubted.
But that was last week. It’s amazing how one win can start changing the outlook of an entire fan base. The Bears defeated the Detroit Lions 17-14 on Sunday afternoon. It wasn’t like the Bears won the game 31-6, but it was how they won that was so encouraging. Despite the injuries, the defense was able to shutdown Matthew Stafford and the Lions offense. On offense, they were able to run the ball. Brian Hoyer was efficient and the Bears finally won the time of possession battle for the first time this season.
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In short, the Bears looked like a professional football team. If this is how the Bears play moving forward, things should be looking up. This is especially true if you look at the Bears upcoming schedule.
This Sunday, the Bears face the Colts in Indianapolis. Ordinarily, this would be a game that you would chalk up as a loss, but the Colts are beatable- very beatable. The Colts sit at 1-3. They lost week one to the same Detroit Lions the Bears just beat and they also lost last Sunday to the Jacksonville Jaguars. The Colts played that game in London. Ordinarily, teams get their bye week immediately following a London game, but the Colts made a request with the NFL to have their bye week later and play through the jet lag this week.
The Colts defense can be exploited. The offense isn’t the juggernaut it’s been in the past either. This game is going to come down to the Bears’ pass rush. If the Bears can get pressure on Andrew Luck (the Colts offensive line isn’t setting the world on fire either) without having to constantly blitz, the Bears are going to win this football game. It’s there for the taking.
If the Bears can go on the road and beat a jet lagged Colts team in Indy, they’ll return home the following week against the Jacksonville Jaguars. The Jaguars are another 1-3 team, with their only win coming against the aforementioned Colts. Jacksonville had potential to be a breakout team in 2016, but they’ve sputtered and many people thing Gus Bradley may be losing the team. The Jaguars are very beatable.
These next two games for the Chicago Bears are very winnable games. That is, as long as the Bears continue to play line they did against Detroit. If they regress back to the team we saw previously, it’ll be a long season. But the team we saw against the Lions can right the ship and get themselves to a 3-3 record with plenty of momentum going into their Thursday night match-up in Lambeau against the Packers on October 20th.
These next two games are going to show us who the 2016 Chicago Bears are. A couple of wins and this team could get themselves back into the playoff picture. A split and the Bears are looking at another similar season to last year’s 6-10 record. If the Bears drop these next two games against two bad football teams, this is going to be a 3-13 or 4-12 team that is going to be in the running for the top pick of the draft.
The Bears are at a crossroads. Despite the injuries and the issues that this team has faced early on, they are poised to get back on track. However, if they don’t do it now, their season is going to go quickly down the toilet. It’s not too late for the Bears, but it’s now or never. The Bears season is on the line over the next 2 games, how they respond will tell fans everything they need to know.