Chicago Bears (5-3)
The Bears lead the way in the NFC North but come into the second half with an 0-1 record in the division. They’ve played the fewest division games so far, so they have the most to lose or the most to gain in the standings as divisional games count for more than just the one game in their record. The good news for the Bears is they play the weakest schedule on the way out, thanks in large part to their last-place NFC North finish in 2017.
If the Bears are going to maintain their lead in the NFC North, they’re going to have to overcome some serious history. They’ve struggled in the NFC North in recent years. Really struggled. They’ve dropped nine of the last ten to the Lions, six of the last seven to the Vikings and 15 of the last 17 to the Packers.
If you want to start predicting, I’ve got the Bears splitting with the Lions and Vikings, beating the Giants and Niners. To get at least a .500 record in the division, they’ll need to beat the Packers. If they can live up to this, they’ll go 3-3 in the division and get to ten wins. That’s a key number when you start thinking about playoff possibilities. Even if the Bears fall to the Rams, which I’m certainly not conceding but seems like a loss when the LA Rams roll into Soldier Field in mid-December, they still get to ten wins.