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Hot Take Tuesday: In the words of Jim Mora: Playoffs?

The incoherent ramblings of a belligerent Bears fan.

NFL: Detroit Lions at Chicago Bears Jamie Sabau-USA TODAY Sports

Well, well, well, I certainly didn’t think I’d be here on the 12th day of the 12th month of the 12th year since Lovie Smith was the Bears head coach. The Chicago Bears have won two in a row and three out of four to push their record to 5-8.

Thanks to this hot streak, the Chicago Bears are one win away from being the talk of the national media. The Cleveland Browns stand in the way of the Bears being 6-8 with home games against the Arizona Cardinals and Atlanta Falcons. That sets them up to be 8-8 going into the finale against the Green Bay Packers.

If the Bears beat the Browns, you’ll have Kyle Brandt hyping up the Bears on NFL Network. You’ll have Robert Mays drinking the Kool-Aid. They’ll be discussed on Get Up and First Take. The Bears will be the team the media labels “the team nobody wants to face in the playoffs.”

But they need to beat the Browns to get there. Right now, the playoffs are still a pipe dream. It’s a hope that teams that were once 2-7 don’t even get to discuss. But beat the Browns, and all bets are off.

Now a charge for the playoffs comes with certain caveats, the biggest one being that Matt Eberflus will return. Maybe, at this point, you’re okay with that. Eberflus has certainly turned the defense around, he seems to be improving as the CEO and the roster seems to have his back. The in-game decisions could certainly use improvement, but if we are being fair, Eberflus has improved throughout the season.

In September, he was easily the worst head coach in the NFL. In October he was just bad. November, he turned the corner to below average, and the way he has this team playing, he certainly feels middle-of-the-pack. That’s certainly not something I would have seen coming after week three.

I’ve had some opinions that I’ve shared on this website, and the one I am about to type is probably going to be the least popular one I’ve ever shared, but I truly do believe it to be true. Right now, at this moment, I think Matt Eberflus has more job security with the Chicago Bears than Justin Fields.

But let’s not think about 2024 right now. For the first time since week one of the NFL season, maybe week two for the optimist, the Bears fan can think about the 2023 season and they can think playoffs.

Will it happen? Almost certainly not. With 11 teams at 6-7 or better in the NFC, the odds that at least 7 of them finish 9-8 are pretty darn good. 8-9 won’t cut it for the Bears. They have to run the table. Beating Cleveland may not be easy. Beating Green Bay definitely won’t be. But if they can clear one more hurdle, their momentum may carry them to January and maybe, just maybe, the Chicago Bears and Green Bay Packers will once again be playing on Sunday Night Football the last week of the season with significant playoff implications on the line.

Quick Hits

  • I think Luke Getsy had his best game of the season on Sunday.
  • Montez Sweat has transformed the defense. Anyone still criticizing that move isn’t paying attention.
  • Was the DJ Moore TD Sweep and the 4th and 13 deep shot to DJ Moore the two best executed plays in the history of the Luke Getsy offense?
  • What is going on with Khalil Herbert?
  • Justin Fields really tried to work the ball to Darnell Mooney on Sunday and he did not respond. These will almost certainly be his final games in Chicago.
  • I felt Tremaine Edmunds played his most complete game of the season.
  • Regardless of what happens to Matt Eberflus or Justin Fields, I want to see Ryan Poles spend decent money ($10-$13 million a year) on a wide receiver and draft one in round one.
  • The free agent I can’t stop thinking about is Chris Jones.
  • Remember when Justin Fields was supposed to learn from Tyson Bagent? Good times.
  • Playoffs?