Not unlike Matt Nagy and Mitch Trubisky, it's Year 2 of First and Final Thoughts. Insider JJ Stankevitz and producer Cam Ellis talk about what's on their minds between games.
Final Thoughts on Week 10
Cam Ellis: The Bears held serve on Sunday, which is not especially worth writing home about but still important nonetheless. Losing Danny Trevathan is so brutal, even if Nick Kwiatkoski is a starting-caliber linebacker. Akiem Hicks' personality sort of gravitates him towards leadership on a larger level, but Trevathan was clearly the anchor of the defense when they played on Sunday. Chuck Pagano's got his hands full trying to scheme up a defense without two of their best players in the front seven.
J.J. Stankevitz: It’s been a weird week in that there hasn’t been much positivity around Chicago after the Bears’ four-game losing streak came to an end, but that’s what happens when you score 20 points against a defense that has allowed 27 points per game before last weekend. The Bears’ offense did that thing where it scores in quick succession against a bad defense, then retreats the rest of the game (as was the case in Week 3 against Washington). So it makes sense that there haven’t been a lot of positive vibes around the Bears — though inside Halas Hall, just getting a win was exactly what this team needed. Because...
First Thoughts on Week 11
Stankevitz: ... The Bears kind of still have a shot at making their 100th season a memorable one. It’s incredibly slim — less than 5 percent, per Football Outsiders — but going into Los Angeles and beating the Rams on Sunday Night Football could be a legitimate spark for the Bears. Forget that the Rams are struggling and that Jason Mendoza, er, Sean McVay intentionally put Blake Bortles in for a few plays in their loss to the Steelers. They’re still the defending NFC Champions and the game is still in primetime, and the Bears would be 5-5 with the Giants and Lions on deck after. So while there was little to be inspired about with the Bears’ win against Detroit last weekend, it’d be a lot easier to talk yourself into this team truly being “in the hunt” for the playoffs if they pull off a win in California.
Ellis: It's already Week 11! Time flies when you're underachieving during a title window. I actually do think the Bears' season gets interesting if they're able to come out of LA with a win, and given how the Rams have looked since losing in the Super Bowl last season, that's not the monumental task it felt like a calendar year ago. It feels silly to think that the Bears are still in the hunt for a playoff spot, but the NFL is weird – the Titans beat Pat Mahomes and the Chiefs last week. The NFC is the stronger conference, but maybe some of that parity actually helps the Bears? Or maybe another loss and this article just never gets optimistic ever again.Click here to download the new MyTeams App by NBC Sports! Receive comprehensive coverage of the Bears.