There’s been plenty of buzz around the Bears since the NFL Draft nearly two weeks ago, as many think that the turnaround for the team will be swift, and not the long drawn out process that it’s taken for the team to start winning.
Today Pro Football Weekly’s Eric Edholm put out an article ranking all eight last place teams from the 2017 season, and if there’s a chance they can make it all the way to first place in 2018.
According to the article, the Bears have the 6th best shot to unseat the Vikings for the Division title in 2018 – a feat that won’t come easy.
6. Chicago Bears (5-11)
There’s actually a very strong case to be made for the Bears to be one of the NFL’s more improved teams in 2018. Quarterback Mitch Trubisky wasn’t bad in his 12-game baptism, and the offseason has been all about loading up the offense to help him.
There’s a whole new cast of wide receivers, led by Allen Robinson, Anthony Miller and Taylor Gabriel, plus the addition of tight end Trey Burton and whatever Kevin White might offer in what could be his last-gasp season in Chicago. The offensive line also feels a bit more settled, and the new offensive braintrust of Matt Nagy and Mark Helfrich (plus highly respected OL coach Harry Hiestand) should push the pedal more and put Trubisky in better situations.
On top of that, the defense — which ranked in the top 10 in points and yards allowed, plus sacks — and special teams appear to be respectable units. The Bears only scored two fewer touchdowns than their opponents last season and were 2-6 in one-score games. They were undressed in three games, all on the road, and two of those came with Mike Glennon at QB. After Trubisky took over, the Bears were outscored by a mere 13 points over those 12 games.
Still, this is a team that has major divisional obstacles — namely the Packers and Vikings, not to mention the competitive Lions. The first two teams could be considered possible Super Bowl teams, and the Lions can’t be dismissed as playoff contenders. The Bears will have to be far better in division games (0-6 last season, and 4-20 the past four seasons) and home games (9-24 at Soldier Field dating back to the end of the 2013 season) if they want to harbor serious hopes of hosting a playoff game anytime soon.