Of all the teams in the NFC North going into the 2017-2018 NFL Season, the Chicago Bears were considered having the least chance of winning the division. Chicago was described as one of the teams that most likely wouldn’t win more than 3 to 5 games. So far, the prediction has proven to be correct. the Bears are at 3 and 5.
But, the Chicago Bears are 3 and 5 as of NFL Week 9. Chicago’s got 8 games in which to hit the 5 win mark. Can Chicago do it?
Chicago Bears 2017 Update
The Bears have been sort of a surprise team so far in the first 9 weeks of the 2017-2018 NFL Season. Keep reading to find out why the Chicago Bears appear destined to continue to develop into a force in the NFC North after the 2017-2018 NFL Season.
What’s the Great Sign for the Chicago Bears?
Answer: John Fox’s third year magic is playing out.
John Fox’s third year with a team is often when the magic starts. Fox’s stint with the Carolina Panthers didn’t have a great third season. The team finished at 7 and 9. However, Fox took the Panthers to the Super Bowl in 2003, his full second season with the team. Fox also led the Panthers to a 7 and 9 record a year after they finished 1 and 15 in his first season with Carolina.
A year after finishing 7 and 9 in his third season as head coach, John Fox led Carolina to an 11 and 5 record in his fourth season as coach. Fox’s team lost in the NFC Championship game to the Seattle Seahawks. That was the year that Seattle first made it to the Super Bowl, 2005.
Lightning struck twice when John Fox became the head coach of the Denver Broncos. In his first season as head coach of the Broncos, the 20120-2011 NFL Season, the team finished 8 and 8. In his second season, the team finished 13 and 3. Denver lost in the Divisional Playoffs to the Baltimore Ravens.
Fox’s third season at Denver is when the Broncos’ magic started. Fox, with help from Peyton Manning, led the Broncos to Super Bowl XLVIII. Seattle dominated the Denver Broncos 43 to 8. The very next season, Denver finished 12 and 4. The Broncos lost 13 to 24 to the Indianapolis Colts in the AFC Divisional Playoffs.
John Fox is in his third year as head coach of the Chicago Bears. At only 2 games under .500 going into Week 10, the Bears have performed as well as they have in a long time. In Fox’s first year as head coach, 2015, the team finished 6 and 10. Fox’s offensive coordinator, Adam Gase, bolted to take the head coaching job in Miami.
That’s why in 2016, the Chicago Bears finished 3 and 13. This season, the Chicago Bears have already won 3 games in their first 8. Almost as important is the fact that both the defense and the quarterback position have solidified.
Chicago Bears’ Defense Becoming One of the Best in the NFL
The Bears’ defense in 2017 compared to the 2016 Chicago Bears’ defense is like comparing the sun and the moon. The sun helps things to grow. Nothing can survive without it. The moon can shed some light onto the world, but only if the sun is there to help it.
That’s how important the Bears are this season. Chicago’s defense has carried the Bears’ in their 3 games. It’s also kept Chicago in most of their games. A good way to know if a team has become competitive is to see what they’ve done against the spread. The Bears are only 3 and 5 straight up this season. They are 5 and 3 against the spread, though. What it means is that more often than not, the Chicago Bears are a tough team to deal with.
That’s because of their defense. Last season, the Bears’ D ranked 24th in points allowed per game on average. Chicago allowed a terrible 24.9 points per game. They ranked 15th in yards allowed per game last season. Chicago allowed 346.5 yards per game in the 2016-2017 NFL Season.
What’s happened in 2017? Chicago has the 8th ranked defense in the NFL based on yards allowed per game. Opponents average 312 total yards per game. They also only average 207.6 passing yards. Opponents only rush for 104.4 yards per versus the Bears’ D.
Those aren’t the most important statistics. The most important statistic is that while Chicago’s defense was allowing 25 points per game last season, this season, the Bears are allowing 21.4 points per.
Should Chicago Bears Fans Expect Better QB Play?
Answer: Yes. Mitch Trubisky gets better week to week.
The Bears signed QB Mike Glennon away from the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Chicago gave Glennon a huge signing bonus. The Bears’ front office turned heads when they traded up for North Carolina QB Mitch Trubisky. It’s turned out that drafting Trubisky was a brilliant move.
Although Trubisky hasn’t set the world on fire ala DeShaun Watson in Houston, he has turned into a decent instinctual quarterback. Trubisky currently has a 66.3 QB rating. He’s completing 47.3% of his passes. He’s thrown 2 touchdowns to 2 interceptions. Those are terrible stats, right?
But, since Mitch Trubisky is a rookie, the Bears and their fans aren’t looking for Trubisky to be the next Sid Luckman or Jim McMahon. Not in his first season, at least. What the Bears and their fans are looking for are flashes of brilliance, things that Mitch can build upon in his second season.
Those flashes have been there. Trubisky only completed 57.1% of his passes versus the Carolina Panthers in Week 7. In fact, he only threw 7 passes. What he did do is lead the Bears to a 17 to 3 win over the Panthers. He also led the Bears to a 27 to 24 win over the Baltimore Ravens.
He kept the Bears in the game versus one of the top teams in the NFC, the New Orleans Saints, in Week 8. Since taking over the starters role, the Bears are 2 and 2 straight up. They lost by only 3 points, 17 to 20 to Minnesota in Week 5. In Week 8, the Saints beat them 12 to 20.
Trubisky’s flashes of brilliance have all been about leadership. Leadership is a skill that’s impossible to teach. Trubisky already has the leadership skills necessary to be a winning starting QB in the NFL.
Chicago Bears Offense Overall
The Bears have a remarkable offense. Even though Mitch Trubisky has been thrown to the wolves, Chicago averages an awesome 130.1 rushing yards per game. Trubisky won’t scare any opponents this season throwing the football. Chicago still manages to acquire 130 rushing yards per game.
It speaks to Chicago’s offensive line. As to be expected, Chicago ranks 32nd in the NFL in pass yards per game. The Bears rank 27th in points scored per game. Chicago averages 16.8 points per.
Bottom Line on the Chicago Bears
The Chicago Bears were at +10000 to win Super Bowl 52. The odds on the Bears have gone up to +15000. Chicago has less of a chance of winning the Super Bowl than the Arizona Cardinals because the Bears aren’t playing to win the Super Bowl this season. You don’t try and win the Super Bowl if you start a rookie QB. No rookie quarterback has ever won the Super Bowl. No rookie quarterback has even started in a Super Bowl.
Mitch Trubisky is not going to lead the Chicago Bears to the Super Bowl this season. Heck, he won’t even lead the Bears to the playoffs. What he could do is lead Chicago to an 8 and 8 record. That’s incredible to me. I think Trubisky and the Bears have a real shot of winning 5 of their next 8 games from NFL Week 10 to NFL Week 17.
Chicago should beat Green Bay, Detroit, San Francisco and Cleveland at home. That’s 4 wins right there. The Bears would only need to win at Philadelphia, at Cincinnati, at Detroit or at Minnesota to finish 8 and 8.
Think about it. The Chicago Bears have a great shot at finishing at .500 after a season where they went 3 and 13. Not only that, but they’ve got one of the best young defenses in the NFL. They’ve also found their starting quarterback for the next 5 to 10 seasons. That’s incredible progress.