The Chicago Bears find themselves in an interesting situation through the first eight weeks, as they’re 2-5 on the season and are longshots to make the playoffs. The Bears are in the same division as the Packers, who sit atop the NFC North standings at 6-1. The Bears potentially could capture a wild card spot, but the Falcons, Seahawks, Rams and the Vikings are all ahead of them making the Bears playoff chances are very slim. They’ve played better than most expected, as they were viewed as the worst team in the NFL before the season started. Unfortunately, they don’t have the record to show for it, but they have lost three close games, by a combined fourteen points, which is a very small margin of points to lose by in three games. This shows all three games were very winnable, and if the Bears won these games, they would’ve been 5-2 and sitting atop of the NFC North standings. However, the difference between the Bears and Packers was highlighted by Head Coach of the Bears, John Fox, “great teams win close games and good teams know how to give away close games.” This was a great explanation by Coach Fox, and it leads me to believe the Bears should continue to play competitively.
The organization should count on the team having a high draft pick next April. They have the quality to achieve being a contender through an offseason of free agency and a draft that should be intended to build a defense. The Bears should also try to model their team for next year as this year's version of the Minnesota Vikings. The Vikings have a good chance of making the playoffs as a wild card. Once the Bears make the playoffs, anything can happen. This looks likes the course the Bears plan to follow as Ryan Pace, the Bears General Manager, has traded away Outside Linebacker, Jared Allen, which clearly shows they’re building for the future. It seems as if the Bears are a defense and an Alshon Jeffery and Matt Forte contract extension away from being contenders.
They have a fantastic offense, but a shaky defense. One player who people feel should be traded is Jay Cutler. He’s had a surprisingly productive season. He is number 13 in QBR this season, which could be better, but he has played top notch. I don’t think the Bears should tank for a QB in Jared Goff or Connor Cook, but instead, they should stick with Jay Cutler. The club could find a defensive star in Robert Nkemdiche, Joey Bosa, Jaylon Smith or Jalen Ramsey. Nkemdiche is a Defensive End, out of Ole Miss. Bosa is a defensive end out of Ohio State, Smith is a linebacker from Notre Dame and Ramsey is a defensive back out of Florida State. The Bears will have great defensive options with their first round pick and should build the defense through the 2016 draft. I trust the Bears front office to architect a defense through the draft and free agency. Options in free agency could include big names like shutdown defensive back Josh Norman, or safeties Eric Weddle and Tashuan Gipson. Defensive lineman Mike Daniels, Jason Pierre-Paul, Aldon Smith or Muhammad Wilkerson are also viable options they could pursue. They could also target Von Miller, one the best linebackers in the league.
The Bears would set themselves up for major success in the future if they could sign one or two of these stars and a couple other solid free agents and merge this with a great draft. If you combine the Bears offense with a revamped defense through free agency and the draft, the Bears could be in line for Super Bowls to come. If the Bears get more talent throughout the next year, they could be in a great position for years to come. They have one of the best coaching staffs in the league, highlighted by John Fox, and offensive and defensive coordinators, Adam Gase and Vic Fangio. All three of these coaches have been to a Super Bowl before. The Bears have a core right now that includes potential quarterback of the future, Jay Cutler, Matt Forte, Alshon Jeffery, Kyle Long and Pernell Mcphee. They also have Matt Slauson, Eddie Goldman, Kyle Fuller and many other young players. The Bears aren’t in great shape right now, but through a year of development, the 2016 NFL Draft and free agency the future could look bright in Chicago.