Presented By Bears Insider

The Bears are preaching positivity in the face of the overwhelming possibility they do not make the playoffs, focusing on what’s immediately ahead of them and nothing beyond it. It’s partly a reflexive response, and partly all this team has left on which to lean. 

“You have the expectations going into this year, we had such a good year last year — but at the end of the day I feel like the season’s not over yet,” wide receiver Taylor Gabriel said. “If we go on a nice little win streak I feel like we’ll be okay. That’s what we focus on, just getting 1-0, getting a win this week.”

Still, the Bears have a 97.4 percent chance of missing the playoffs, per Football Outsiders. In an exceedingly competitive NFC, the Bears realistically would need to win every one of their final nine games to play into January. 

The Bears, though, don’t feel like they’re far off from being the team they believe they can be. 

“It’s just, like, little small things,” left tackle Charles Leno Jr. said. “I’m talking about one person here, one penalty here, like literally this little small things and they’re so fixable and it’s very frustrating because we haven’t got it done yet. But we know we’re just going to stay positive, take it one game at a time and that’s how we’re going to keep moving forward.”

But again, a significant turnaround is unlikely. There are plenty of ways to look at the failures of the 2019 Bears right now, but let’s veer into this one: 


Could the 2020 first-round pick the Bears sent the Raiders in the Khalil Mack trade be a top-five pick?

Back when the Raiders released Antonio Brown and looked to be in complete disarray, it was fair to wonder if the 2020 second-round pick the Bears got from Oakland in the Mack trade would come in the first five selections of Day 2 of the NFL Draft. We wrote it here (shoves take under sofa like a box of Allied Biscuit).

Now, eight games into the season, the Bears have a greater chance of having a top-five pick (7.5 percent) than they do of making the playoffs (2.6 percent), per Football Outsiders. The most likely outcome of the Bears’ season is six wins and a first-round pick — owned by the Raiders — around the 10th or 11th selection. 

(As an aside: The Mack trade was still good for the Bears. That’s not part of this debate.)

But that second-rounder Pace got back from the Raiders? Instead of being around the 36th overall pick, it’s more likely to be in in the high 40s, maybe even 50s if a few things break right and Oakland winds up a playoff team in a top-heavy AFC. After all, the Raiders have a 32.3 percent chance of making the playoffs. 

The Bears will always be happy with sending two first-round picks to Oakland to land Mack, and there’s no reason to second-guess that trade even if the Bears miss out on a top-10 pick in 2020 because of it. It would, however, be quite a turn of events if the Bears’ own second-round pick didn’t just come before the one they got from the Raiders, but came significantly ahead of it. 

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