The Chicago Bears could be the next surprise NFL playoff team

Chicago Bears v Green Bay Packers
Chicago Bears v Green Bay Packers / Patrick McDermott/GettyImages

The 2024 season for the Chicago Bears felt like a rollercoaster for many Bears fans. With early struggles, strange coach firings, and even star player trade requests. The first half of the season couldn't have gotten off to a worse start.

However, the Bears did have a much stronger back half to the season going from 2-7 in week 9 to a record of 7-10 to finish the year off. With the strong finish to the season, the arrow and hope for Bears fans were pointed up.

The Bears also entered the offseason with the third most cap space in the NFL while also having the first and ninth pick in the draft.

Over the free agent period, the Bears would bring in players like safety Kevin Byard, running back D'Andre Swift, tight end Gerald Everett, center Coleman Shelton, and much more.

The Bears would also make trades for guard/center Ryan Bates who GM Ryan Poles tried to sign his first offseason with the Bears. But the big trade came when the Chargers traded 6-time pro-bowl wideout Keenan Allen for a fourth-round selection.

The Bears enter the 2024 NFL Draft with only four picks with two being in the top ten. The number one overall pick has been all but selected at this point with many expecting the Bears to select Caleb Williams.

Many also expect Rome Odunze to be the selection for the Bears at No. 9 overall if he is on the board.

Excitement is building for how good the Chicago Bears could be next season.

The floor has to be 8 wins with the expectation of double digits and a playoff appearance. Is that something a team with a rookie QB can do? With the way the roster is constructed, it should be entirely possible.

The Houston Texans are a great example of what the Bears can hope for with a rookie QB. Not just making it to the playoffs but win a playoff game and make a real push. C.J. Stroud was not viewed as highly during the draft processes as current projected QB Caleb Williams and if Williams can deliver like many expect him to the Bears could go even further than what the Texans did.

Stroud is going to have to face QBs like Joe Burrow, Josh Allen, Lamar Jackson, oh, and Patrick Mahomes. While Williams would have to face guys like Jordan Love, Jalen Hurts, Brock Purdy, and Kirk Cousins.

All good QBs in their own right of the NFC side of things but nothing like what the AFC has in terms of talent.

However, before we start going too deep into the playoff talk, we need to still talk about how the Bears are putting their rookie QB in the best position to succeed.

The talent that Williams will have with the Bears is far greater than the situation that Stroud had with the Texans last season. With that in mind, it's quite easy to see how the Bears could be the 2024 version of the 2023 Houston Texans.