I've been avoiding this all season, but now we hit the 7 game mark....
Can we make the playoffs?
The way the D is playing, it gives us a legitimate chance to win every game. Let's examine our three losses. One tends to learn more in defeat than victory.
Giants: It exposed our greatest weakness, Offensive Line. We haven't faced an elite Pass rush since, so we don't know how much this unit has improved in pass protection. We took 3 sacks last night, against a beast like Cameron Wake. We can't run the ball either. Are last games run averages are inflated because of Jay's scrambles. 3.5, 3.3, 3.9 are Forte's averages in the last 3 games. Not exactly awe inspiring.
Seahwaks: This is the only game were our defense laid an egg, a game in which Briggs missed time. Also, the defense had played 2 tough games with a lot of snaps (Giants, Panthers), because of atrocious offensive production. So we need this unit to remain healthy, and for the offense to at least stay on the field enough to avoid gassing our star players, who are all older. The Tampa 2 D is of the bend but don't break variety, which means a lot of snaps for the D, which tends to gas them.
Redskins: The game that Jay lost. Our defense did everything it could to win that game. Cutler tried harder. It had the same feeling of the 06 superbowl, with Rex playing for the other team.
So their you have it, the three most glaring weaknesses in the Bears. Off-Line, Jay's indisputable ability to lay an egg, and the lack of depth at D.
Dare we drink the Kool-Aid?
The way I see it:
vs Eagles: A tough one, but we have Marrinelli who faced Vick in Atlanta when he was at Tampa. We aren't going tos top him, buthopefully we'll slow him down some. Our D is based on very good Tacklers, and Peppers has faced off against Vick in the past as well. Those huge arms of his hopefully will help contain him when he rolls left. But it will be up to our O to show up for this one. The Eagles defense has CBs who like to cheat a lot, which is an explosive mix with Jay Cutler. We need his best game of the season for this one. 33% of W
@ Detroit: We have to win this one. If we can't beat them, we don't deserve the playoffs. It's that simple. 75% of W
vs New England: A Belichick defense led against Jay Cutler...I foresee planty of Interceptions. Our Defense will be truly battle tested, similar to the Eagles game, as the two most prolific offenses come a knocking. 33% of W
@ Minnesotta: This is a tough one. The crowd noise could be a factor if the team hasn't quit the year by then. But our D should be enough against a bad O, and their mediocre D should allow us some leeway. 66% of W
vs Jets: Both teams have suspect QBs. Both teams have good Ds. Both teams have eeked out wins they shouldn't have. But we have home field advantage, and I'll take my Bears in December against a USC QB. 50% of W
@ Green Bay: I don't see us winning that one. Sorry. Lambeaus is a big advantage, and the division will probably be up for grabs by then. 33%
The way I see it: We have to win the Detroit and Viking games. We ahve a chance towin the Jets game. I don't think we can win all the games against opportunistic defenses and elite offenses like the Pats and Eagles, or against a division rival on the road like the Packers. If we're truly a playoff team, we should eek out at least something out of them.
According to those win probabilities, we should earn 2.9 more Wins. A 10-6 record or a 9-5-1 record ought to eek out a WC, a 9-7 will come down to tiebreakers. 10 wins will depend on the tiebreaqker with the Pack.