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The Bears are still a work in progress, but that’s just fine

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Chicago isn’t a polished team yet, but there is more talent and upside on their roster than any other team in years.

NFL: Seattle Seahawks at Chicago Bears Mike DiNovo-USA TODAY Sports

In the midst of their first win of the 2018 regular season, the Chicago Bears showed a lot of promise on both sides of the ball.

Their pass-rushing unit dominated against a below-average Seattle Seahawks offensive line. Their secondary, while not perfect, made its fair share of plays, including a pick-six from cornerback Prince Amukamara. The offense also showed flashes of what it could eventually become, as a handful of creative play calls, the spreading of the ball around and a great performance from Allen Robinson were all apparent.

That’s not to say that the Bears were perfect. Mitchell Trubisky threw two interceptions and forced a handful of throws. The offensive line struggled in the ground game, opening up very little in the way of opportunities for Jordan Howard and Tarik Cohen. Kyle Fuller wasn’t spectacular in coverage, and Roquan Smith missed a handful of tackles in his debut in the starting lineup.

Despite the win, it is clear that the Bears still have a lot of work to do before they can be considered a true playoff contender. But that’s just fine.

The Bears are just two weeks into the regular season in a brand new offense. They chose to give their starters a minuscule number of snaps in the preseason, which, despite it preventing injuries to key contributors, came at the expense of developing in-game chemistry together. More than half of their starters - including Trubisky - are coming from a radically different offense under John Fox and Dowell Loggains.

All of the talented players on Chicago’s offense holds them to a higher standard in the eyes of those who follow the team. However, it’s still very early in the season. Rome wasn’t built in a day, and the new-look Bears offensive unit won’t be, either.

These next few weeks won’t be entirely positive. They will likely be able to pick up a handful of wins, but some of them won’t be pretty wins. It’s better that they iron out the kinks in their roster now than later in the year, when they will play most of their divisional games and take on several playoff-caliber teams.

In their next six games, the Bears will face one legitimate Super Bowl contender: the New England Patriots. In that span, they will also face the Arizona Cardinals and the Buffalo Bills, who are two of the worst teams in the NFL. They are also on tap to face two undefeated teams - the Miami Dolphins and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers - but neither project as a true threat at the moment.

The Dolphins have had a fairly easy schedule to start the year, and the Buccaneers, as impressive as they have been, are still led by a journeyman quarterback who has a history of playing with hot and cold streaks. Whether or not they will start Ryan Fitzpatrick or Jameis Winston is currently unknown, but the Bears project as the more talented team at the moment. A lot of how much of a threat Tampa Bay will be to the Bears relies on how the Buccaneers do against the Pittsburgh Steelers next week. If they are able to pick up the win, then they would truly be a force to be reckoned with, rather than just a flash in the pan.

Regardless of how those two teams do next week, the Bears are still in the easier part of their schedule. It’s much more convenient that they have the chance to adjust in their new offense against a weaker schedule, boosting their confidence going forward into the home stretch of the year.

This applies on a smaller scale to the defense, as most of their starters have been in Vic Fangio’s defense before. Still, having the chance to play inferior teams will benefit Khalil Mack and Roquan Smith, who were not practicing with the team in training camp or, in Mack’s case, the preseason.

The Bears team that has been playing these past two weeks is not the best version of the talent on the roster. It’s likely that this will not be the case for quite some time this year. Nonetheless, there is still a considerable amount of upside surrounding the team. While winning every game by a defiant margin is obviously preferred, it’s more important that they win in general while showing progress in the process.

For the time being, the Bears don’t necessarily have to be perfect. After all, it’s the success in the long run that matters most.

Jacob Infante is a Chicago Bears writer at SB Nation’s Windy City Gridiron. He is also the lead NFL Draft analyst for The Blitz Network, and he additionally covers the NFL Draft for USA Today’s Draft Wire. He can be reached through Twitter @jacobinfante24 or e-mailed at jacobinfante1208@gmail.com.