Good morning. Welcome to the post-bye week 15, also known as “the beginning of the end.”
Maybe that sounds a bit more dire than I mean it to. The Chicago Bears have four games left in their season - next Saturday against the Buffalo Bills, New Year’s Day against the Detroit Lions, and then closing out the season on January 8 against the Minnesota Vikings, who claimed the NFC North championship yesterday after being down 33 points in the first half.
That’s all after you get into being nine point underdogs to the Philadelphia Eagles today. You know, the 12-1 Eagles that stand at the top of the NFC playoff picture while the Bears own the highest untraded pick in the NFC.
The same Eagles that took a maligned-but-with-much-promise Jalen Hurts, gave him AJ Brown to pair with DeVonta Smith, Miles Sanders and Dallas Goedert, and turned it into the top offensive unit in the NFL. They also paired it with a defense that’s racked up 49 sacks on the season with a devastating defensive line punch.
Just in case you needed a fun-house mirror to show you what next year’s Bears could look like if they turn their boatload of offseason resources into tangible things, here’s today’s game.
While the Navy and Orange haven’t been maintaining their 30-points-per-game stretch of offense, they’ve at least maintained a competitive offense since the mini-bye, and the defense has started to solidify a little despite a complete lack of pressure and not being able to play their two second rounders due to concussions. Enough to win against the Eagles today? Maybe not, but maybe enough to start to give a clearer picture of where the needs should be prioritized heading into the offseason.
Though I’d take a win. I can dream, right?
Bear Down, my friends.
Today’s WCG Sunday Livestream returns after witnessing the second-half failure against the Packers firsthand and taking the bye week to really let it sink in. Among today’s topics will be Luke Getsy, just how badly the Bears need wide receiver help, and maybe an appearance by the Chicago Cubs.
Of course, here’s how you contribute to the show:
- The comments here, on this post.
- Over on the Twitch channel.
- Over on our Twitters. @SJS_illini. @SamHouseholder. @WCGridiron.
- NEW: Over on Hive @sjsillini
We’ll be live at 9:30 AM CT. See you then...