The Chicago Bears are sitting at 5-3 at the halfway point of the season. That already matches the win total from all of last season.
The Chicago Bears have been impressive during the 2018 season. So far they’re ranked fifth in points scored offensively, and fifth in total defense. This may be the first time EVER that a Chicago Bears offense has been this productive. As for the defense, we’re used to seeing Chicago at the top.
The Chicago Bears were 0-6 against their division rivals during the 2017 season. That’s unacceptable for any team. But 2018 is a different story. Yes the Bears are 0-1 in the division so far after suffering a heartbreaking loss week one to the Green Bay Packers, but now they’ve found their stride. Quarterback Mitchell Trubisky continues to improve each week, and Tarik Cohen continues to confuse opposing defenses. The next three games include the Detroit Lions twice and the Minnesota Vikings.
If the Chicago Bears are competing for the division and a playoff spot, they need to at least go 3-3 against NFC North opponents.
This Sunday Chicago takes on the Detroit Lions at Soldier Field. Good news? It’s very likely that both Khalil Mack and Allen Robinson are making their return after missing the last two games. The Lions are sitting at 3-5 currently with their wins coming over New England, Miami and Green Bay. All three of those teams beat the Bears.
These division games will probably be the most difficult games left on the regular season schedule, as division games always play out differently than regular games against other opponents. The Chicago Bears have a talented enough roster to beat Detroit twice, but need to beat them at least once.
The later the season goes on, the more it looks like it could be a toss-up between the Bears and Vikings. This is where the division games become important. The Bears NEED to split with Minnesota. They cannot afford to lose to the Vikings twice. If Chicago loses to them twice, it’s likely they won’t win the division and will be battling for a tough wildcard spot. Minnesota is very beatable, although their defense looks to slowly be regaining their form, Kirk Cousins is still inconsistent. While Khalil Mack is just getting back to 100%.
If Chicago splits the games above, realistically there are three must win games left on the schedule. Those opponents include the New York Giants, the San Francisco 49ers, and the Green Bay Packers at Soldier Field. If the Bears can split with the Lions and Vikings and win these three games, they will finish with a record of 10-6. That is good enough to win the division and for a playoff berth.
Do the Bears have it in them to shock the nation? Or will inexperience with their young roster settle in and make them look like more of a contender for next season? Time will tell but regardless, this has been a very impressive season so far in Chicago.