The Bears are probably running out of room on their bulletin board for underdog material, as seemingly every national pundit has predicted the Bears will have a bad season. But just in case there is a little bit of space left, here’s another nugget: PointsBet has the Bears’ odds of winning the Super Bowl at +5000, good for 21st in the NFL.
There’s certainly reason for pessimism, with questions surrounding Mitchell Trubisky and Nick Foles, and concerns about David Montgomery’s groin injury heading into the season. However, those issues should resolve themselves early in the year, well before a postseason push.
In fact, the Bears’ strength - their elite defense - should be the one reason the Bears have a shot of making a run in the playoffs. Aside from last season when the Chiefs flipped the script, the old cliché that defense wins championships still holds up. Before last year, five of the last six Super Bowl winners locked up the Lombardi trophy due to either dominating on defense, or relying on several key defensive drives or plays.
If you’re still fading the Bears because of the QB play, you don’t have to look far for a Super Bowl blueprint that doesn’t rely heavily on the man under center. The 49ers made Super Bowl LIV while averaging fewer than 30 pass attempts per game in the regular season, and even won the NFC Championship game with only eight (!!!) passes from Jimmy Garoppolo.
Does this mean the Bears should be Super Bowl favorites this season? Of course not. Teams like the Chiefs and Ravens have earned that right with dynamic play on both sides of the ball. But to say the Bears have the 21st-best chance of winning it all seems a bit low.