A 2-0 start. Not necessarily something anyone was expecting, (especially the "experts", but, I'm over that). With the technical position of being on top of the division (Thank you, Ditka, Lions, Refs, whoever), the Bears are right where they always thought they'd be.
Kevin Seifert took the time yesterday afternoon to lay down some of the historical stats regarding teams that have started off 2-0. So what does that mean for the Bears?
Essentially, nothing. But it's a fun number to know. As Seifert puts it:
Teams that have started 2-0 have made the playoffs 64.1 percent of the time (107 of 167).
Teams that have started 1-1 have made the playoffs 40.7 percent of the time (111 of 273).
Teams that have started 0-2 have made the playoffs 13.0 percent of the time (22 of 169).
So there you have it. The Bears have a 64.1 percent chance of making the playoffs. Ok, so not really. There are way too many factors to say that with any true confidence. However, the trend is your friend, so let's hang our hat on that for the day.
Taking a look around the league, then, what kind of company are the Bears in? The following teams are all 2-0 right now:
- Chicago Bears
- Miami Dolphins
- Pittsburgh Steelers
- Houston Texans
- Kansas City Chiefs
- Green Bay Packers
- Tampa Bay Buccaneers
If 64.1 percent holds true, we can say with a general degree of certainty, that two or three of these teams probably won't make the playoffs. But which ones will it be? The likely picks would be the Chiefs and the Bucs, but they're playing in two divisions that are generally built to allow them the chance to fight for a spot in the conversation, provided the heavyweights (Chargers and Saints, respectively) don't quite play up to snuff.
Now that we're through Week 2, I'll make the bold prediction that the Wild Card slots will come out of the NFC North and the NFC East. (I know, a shocker.) That makes this coming Prime Time game against the Packers even more crucial. It won't be the end of the season, but there's a lot on the line. #1 in the division. 2 Division Wins. 3 Conference Wins. And the always important bragging rights over the Packers.
We all know that this team doesn't exactly have the best primetime efforts. For every Sunday Night win against the Colts, there's a Thursday night against the 49ers. The Packers can't be discounted, and the Bears will have their hands full. I'm hard pressed to say you can have a defining game in Week 3 of the NFL season, but this is one of the closest you'll be able to. It can most definitely help set the tone for the rest of the season.
We'll be bring you a lot of great looks at this matchup over the week, and we look forward to seeing what you guys have to say, as well. Let's take Victory Monday to bask in the glow of a big win against the Cowboys, and tomorrow we'll start gearing up for a battle with the bitterly respected Green Bay Packers.