Expectations for the Bears this season were extremely high and deservedly so. Matt Nagy’s bunch was coming off of a 12-4 season that offered a lot of promise.
So far that promise has not been reached and the results have been less than encouraging. The Bears have scuffled to a 4-5 record. They had to claw out a win against an undermanned Detroit team last week on the lakefront, but that win was important for one reason.
It kept the Bears’ playoff hopes alive.
Outside of Halas Hall, fans and observers of this team don’t have to subscribe to this theory, but inside the building, the Bears are looking at this trip to Los Angeles as something bigger than just a chance to shine on Sunday Night Football.
For the Bears, this is an opportunity to stay relevant and in the playoff race. A win extends their season. A loss pretty much douses any chance for them to play in January.
Of course making the playoffs is a long shot from a mathematical standpoint. According to the New York Times, the Bears chances are hovering around six percent.
The road to an NFC Wild Card berth is daunting with Minnesota and Seattle far ahead of the Bears in wins with seven and eight respectively. The Panthers and Eagles are each ahead of the Bears with five wins apiece and the Eagles own a significant tie-breaker after their 22-14 win over the Bears a couple weeks ago.
Which brings us to Sunday night in L.A.
Another tie-break scenario will play out at the Coliseum. Right now the Bears and Rams are the Spider-Man meme, pointing at each other. Both squads are dealing with injuries, erratic quarterback play, and a mountain of expectations that haven’t been fulfilled.
A win against the Rams, would make the Bears and Rams 5-5 with the Bears holding a tie-breaker. It essentially would eliminate the Rams from the postseason conversation while simultaneously giving the Bears and the fan base some hope.
That hope would live or die in the next two games the Bears have on their schedule. After the Rams, the Bears get the hapless Giants at home and a Lions team that may not have Matthew Stafford back for the Thanksgiving Day game in the Motor City.
It’s a 10-day stretch that will define this season.
Betting on this Bears team to win four in a row would be folly, but in each of the next three games an argument can be made for a win.
There is an ancient Chinese proverb: “The journey of 1,000 miles, begins with a single step.” Step one is in front of the Bears on Sunday night in L.A.
Let’s see how far the journey goes.Click here to download the new MyTeams App by NBC Sports to watch the Football Aftershow and to receive comprehensive coverage of the Bears.