I’d like to say – right off the bat – that I have no disillusions about this team. They may have the best defense in football through two weeks, a VASTLY improved receiving corps, plus an enviable thunder-and-lightening style running game, but they are decidedly NOT favorites to win the Super Bowl this season.
Because in addition to all those exciting parts, they have an inexperienced second-year quarterback with some clear kinks to work out and a number of very young players scattered in important places throughout the roster. This team is exciting and may be well-positioned for future success, but expecting it right now – especially just one week removed from that nightmare loss in Green Bay – might not be wise.
HOWEVA, a kid can dream, right? And if I’m going to dream of watching the Bears play after the regular season comes to an end, I might as well be as informed as possible. So I want to know, now that we’re two weeks into the 2018 season, how are those playoff odds shaping up? Do the Bears have any chance of surprising? To begin answering that question, let’s peek at the standings:
NFC North Standings:
- Green Bay Packers: 1-0-1
- Minnesota Vikings: 1-0-1
- Chicago Bears: 1-1-0
- Detroit Lions: 0-2-0
Thanks to that tie in Week 2, none of the Bears division rivals have more than one victory at this point. That was relatively unexpected, but definitely helped. The Bears may be down in the loss column, but at least they’re tied in the win column. As you’ll see in a minute, that seems to have factored into the odds quite a bit.
At the start of the season, FiveThirtyEight gave the Bears just a 19 percent chance of making the playoffs at all this season and only an 11 percent chance of winning their division. Those were the 26th worst odds in the entire NFL at the time and way behind everyone else in their division:
- Minnesota: 63% playoffs, 50% division
- Detroit: 38%, 25%
- Green Bay: 23%, 14%
- BEARS: 19%, 11%
And after their heart-breaking Week 1 loss to the Packers, those odds dipped. Indeed, after starting 0-1 in 2018 (with that loss coming against a division rival), the Bears stood just a 15 percent chance of reaching the playoffs and only an 8 percent chance of winning the NFC North. But wait a minute … didn’t they just win a big game? You betcha.
After the Bears defense and Mitch Trubisky’s first two-TD game opened up the NFC North into a more highly-contested battleground (through two weeks), the odds have flipped once again. And this time, they’re better than ever for the Bears.
- Minnesota: 74% playoffs, 63% division
- Green Bay: 30%, 16%
- BEARS: 24%, 14%
- Detroit: 12%, 7%
Yo – According to FiveThirtyEight, the Chicago Bears have a 1 in 4 chance of reaching the playoffs *this season.* I can totally get down with that. It may not be much and the Packers and Vikings may have both gained ground as well, but as of today, the Bears are not the least likely team in their own division to keep on playing when everyone else stops. It’ll be an outrageously tough uphill battle in the meantime, but I can’t pretend that’s nothing.