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How close are the Chicago Bears?

NFL: Green Bay Packers at Chicago Bears Mike DiNovo-USA TODAY Sports

Before the Chicago Bears allowed 71 points and over 400 yards on the ground the last two weeks, their defense was looking like a unit that was close to turning the page. Defensive coordinator Vic Fangio, for a 2nd year in a row, has held the defense together with undrafted free agents and in-season pickups, although some of their key additions have shown flashes.

From a statistical standpoint the 2016 Bears’ D is almost exactly what they were in 2015, but there has been improvement.

“I think on an individual basis some are doing well. As a unit, we’re not there yet obviously, but I think the groundwork has been laid.” Fangio said. “And we’ve gotten a lot of guys playing time. So I think on an individual basis there’s some brightness there.”

There’s a foundation on the offense as well, with near Pro Bowl misses from rookies Jordan Howard and Cody Whitehair and veteran Josh Sitton, the offense just has to keep building.

In my latest T Formation Conversation Podcast (Subscribe now on iTunes!) I look at the Bears’ that were close to making the Pro Bowl and speculate if their improvement will lead to more wins in 2017.

In my podcast I touch on eight Bears that have a legitimate shot at the Pro Bowl next season. If even half of these guys can elevate their play to a Pro Bowl level, what would that mean as far as wins for the team in 2017?