The Chicago Bears entered the bye week flying high after a win against the Buccaneers, but emerged from Week 6 with a disheartening loss to the Dolphins.
So where do the Bears stand after five games? Well, let’s dive in.
NFC North Standings:
- Chicago Bears: 3-2-0
- Green Bay Packers: 3-2-1
- Minnesota Vikings: 3-2-1
- Detroit Lions: 2-3-0
The good news is that the Bears’ 3-1 start allowed for a little breathing room to where one loss wasn’t going to result in a change in the division standings. But the bad news is that a second consecutive loss and wins by Minnesota and Detroit (Green Bay has a bye) in Week 7 could throw a major wrench in things: The Vikings would lead the way with a 4-2-1 record, while the Bears, Packers, and Lions would all be tied with three wins a piece. Needless to say, the NFC North would be tangled mess.
But before we get to what might happen in the nightmare scenario, let’s see where were at right now – before Sunday.
FiveThirtyEight: 2018 Playoff and Division Odds
- Vikings: 56% make playoffs (+5%), 42% win division (+7%)
- BEARS: 43% make playoffs (-12%), 28% win division (-11%)
- Packers: 26% make playoffs (+4%), 14% win division (+3%)
- Lions: 25% make playoffs (no change), 16% win division (no change)
As you would expect, the Bears’ loss to the Dolphins put a dent in their playoff chances. They went from having a 55 percent shot at making the postseason to 43 percent. And their odds of winning the division took a double-digit dip in percentage points, too. In fact, the Bears’s chances of winning the division have dropped by 14 percentage points since their win against the Buccaneers in Week 4. Not cool, dude.
And because everything is terrible, FiveThirtyEight dropped their Bears projection to 8.4 wins and 7.6 losses. Uggggggh.
The biggest winners for the second week in a row were the Vikings, who now have the best odds to make the playoffs and win the NFC North. Yuck. The combination of Minnesota’s win and Chicago’s loss caused a shakeup in the odds. The Vikings now have a 56 percent chance at making the playoffs and 42 percent shot at winning their second straight NFC North crown. As always: thanks for nothing, Cardinals.
Want a positive spin on things? Of course you do. Here’s the best I got ahead of Sunday: The Bears are still firmly in the playoff picture, even though it could potentially come as a Wild Card team. Before the year started, you’d probably be eager to sign up for meaningful regular-season football with a reasonable shot at a playoff berth … right? I mean, it’s better than being on the outside looking in for the eighth straight year.
Chicago, Seattle, and Carolina are the top three non-division leaders with the highest postseason probabilities entering Week 7. The Bears, Seahawks, and Panthers each have a 43 percent chance to make the playoffs. Obviously, only two of those three can make it. But at least the Bears have an all-important head-to-head tie-breaker over the Seahawks going in their favor. See, I told you there were some positives to pull out here.
Then again, the Bears’ plummeting playoff odds show that things can change quickly. Getting back to their winning ways will make their projected future look bright again, but it certainly won’t be easy. And Chicago’s road to the postseason resumes with a home game against New England, the team with the third highest chances of making the playoffs, this Sunday. Let’s get ready to ride this thing out. It should be a blast.