It’s time for the Chicago Bears to get greedy and start thinking about a Super Bowl run.
If I told you in late July that the Chicago Bears would have nine wins, you might raise an eyebrow and say, “maybe if things break their way, they can get a winning season” or something like that. If I told you to think about making plans for Atlanta, site of Super Bowl LIII, for early February, you’d probably call me crazy.
After the Bears beat the NFC’s top-seeded LA Rams on Sunday night, there’s no reason to think the Bears aren’t part of the Super Bowl conversations going forward. The Bears are the very definition of Super Bowl contender heading into Week 15. They’re on the verge of clinching a playoff spot and appear to be headed for a home game in early January. Is a Super Bowl run in the realm of possibility? This entire season has exceeded expectations, so why not?
Expectations for a turnaround in Chicago were high, but when GM Ryan Pace pulled off the deal to bring Khalil Mack to the Bears, it didn’t just change expectations, it blew them through the roof. Mack has raised the level of the entire defense while posting 10 sacks despite missing two games and being hobbled for another two. When you have a dominant pass rusher like Mack, you’re in just about any game. But it’s not just Mack who’s raised the level of the defense.
The Bears defense as a whole has raised their level of play. Guys like Akiem Hicks and Eddie Jackson have emerged as playmakers who can change the game any given snap. Kyle Fuller went from missing the 2016 season (and squarely in Vic Fangio’s doghouse) to the NFL interceptions leader in 2018. As the offense has stumbled at times, the defense has been very consistent.
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Keep in mind, defense travels well. As the Bears navigate their way through the playoffs, it’s looking likely that they’ll have to take their act on the road in the Divisional Round of the playoffs if they can win the Wild Card round, which they would host as the likely #3 or #4 seed in the NFC. Can the Bears be as dominant on the road as they are at home? Maybe not as dominant, but can they hang with Drew Brees in New Orleans or Jared Goff in a rematch in Los Angeles.
The Bears haven’t just gotten themselves into this position with skill alone; they’ve caught some breaks along the way. With Kyle Long‘s IR stint and Bryce Callahan‘s broken foot aside, the Bears have been remarkably lucky when it comes to injuries this season. They’ve had a few missed games here and there for Mitch Trubisky, Allen Robinson and Khalil Mack.
Ascent in NFL is not like in other sports because of injuries and schedule breaks. Just look at the chart below and see where they stand in lost man-games. The Bears set records over the last couple of seasons for lost man games, so they were bound to get some good luck this year. Take advantage and strike when the iron is hot.
If you bet the over on the Bears win total of 6.5 games for 2018 back in September, you’ve already cashed that ticket and are playing with house money. Why not take some of that easy money and roll it into a Bears Super Bowl bet? The Bears opened the season at 100:1 odds but that number is down to around 20:1 depending on where you place the bet.
If you’re jumping on the Super Bowl bandwagon, you should get your bets in before the odds drop any lower. It’s time to get greedy and start thinking big. It’s time to start thinking SUPER BOWL!!!
It feels weird expecting the Bears to win every week. It feels strange to be talking about the Bears and the Super Bowl in the present and future tenses and not referencing 1985. I’ve been writing this blog for over ten years and have written about two playoff games in ten years! TWO!!!! It’s about time for that to change and to enjoy meaningful football in December and January. Why not the first Sunday of February too?