The Chicago Bears get a bit of a break after a rough five-game stretch after their bye week highlighted by two Thursday games. Can they take advantage and pick up three wins?
We have already looked at the first ten games for the Chicago Bears in part 1 and part 2. It was separated by a week 6 bye week and difficulty level. Neither group of games will be easy, but based off of last years records the first part looks much easier than the second part. After a rough five-game stretch, the Bears will try to catch their breath of their next three games, before a tough close to the season.
Chicago will get the confusing New York Giants before playing two straight Thursday games against Detroit and Dallas.
After a trip to Los Angeles to take on the Rams on Sunday night football, the Bears return home to try and get some revenge on the New York Giants. The Bears only lost four games last year, but somehow one of them was to the lowly Giants. This could easily be a trap game for Chicago after coming off such a tough group of games and looking forward to games against division rival Detroit and playoff team Dallas.
A few months ago this looked like it could be an interesting game with Saquon Barkley having a year under his belt and Odell Beckham Jr still being one of the best receivers in football. Eli Manning would just need to not turn the ball over (which he does a lot) and the Giants could be a sneaky team. Well fast forward to now and OBJ is now on the Browns and Manning may not be starting come week 12. The Giants, in a surprising move, drafted Daniel Jones out of Duke to hopefully be the quarterback of the future. Could he be starting come week 12? Nobody knows yet, but either way, the Bears should be able to wreak havoc on them. The Giants did not protect Manning well last year and have made very few improvements. This is a game the Bears have to win and on paper, they should, but like last year shows on paper doesn’t matter.
Chicago then travels to Detroit to play on Thanksgiving for the second consecutive year. It will be the second time the Bears play the Lions in four weeks. It is very similar to last years schedule when they played them twice in three weeks. Last year the Bears used a late pick-6 to beat the Lions in a game started by Chase Daniel. The Bears hope Mitchell Trubisky will be healthy all year and the offense is clicking by week 13. The Lions have had their troubles on Thanksgiving, but like mentioned in part 2 will give the Bears a tough game. Matthew Stafford can always have a big game. For the Bears to win the division though this is a game they need also. They can’t afford to lose to the Lions if they want to remain on top. Losing on the road in the division is not a bad thing, but with the talent the NFC appears to have for next year, they need to take care of business against the Lions.
The third and final game of this part of the schedule is another Thursday game. This time at home against Dallas. The Cowboys made the playoffs last year and beat the Seahawks before falling to the Rams a week later. Dallas has one of the best offenses in the NFC if Dak Prescot is playing well. Couple him with Zeke Elliott in the backfield and they can be tough to handle. A career resurgence by Amari Cooper, a mid-season trade acquisition from Oakland, makes this a very good and capable offense. This could be a possible playoff preview or if the cards don’t play out right could be a game both teams need to get the upper hand for the playoffs. Either way, this will come down to if the Bears can shut down their offense. They have proven they can limit very good offenses last year, they just need to carry it over to this year.
Teams don’t like playing on Thursday’s but playing on Thanksgiving is always a treat. While they have to play on Thursday again the next week they still get their normal six days rest. It then allows them to have a mini-bye week before they head to Green Bay for a huge matchup in week 15, which we will cover in part 4.
No game is ever easy in the NFL, but this three-game stretch late in the season is one the Bears need to take advantage of. Yes, the Cowboys should be good, but they get them at home on a Sunday night where it could be cold. The Bears normally take advantage of those situations. Chicago is better than both the Giants and Lions and they need to prove it. Just like anything else, it will depend on their record when they get to these games, but they need to go 3-0 during this stretch. If they can do that, they should be in good shape to finish off the rest of their schedule and get ready for the playoffs.