The Chicago Bears face off against the Green Bay Packers on Sunday for a shot at the playoffs. Here’s why they are in a nightmare scenario.
For any football fan, a shot at the playoffs is typically a dream come true. It’s the ultimate goal of the season.
Few things in sports are better than those three meaningful hours of postseason football on a weekend in January.
But as the Chicago Bears get set for their tilt with the hated Green Bay Packers at Soldier Field on Sunday, it’s tough to envision anything good happening in the long run.
Yes, there is the minute possibility that the Bears knock off Green Bay and dance into the playoffs. They also could make the playoffs with an Arizona Cardinals loss to the Los Angeles Rams.
Though Arizona QB Kyler Murray‘s status is in question for Week 17, we already know that the Rams will be without starting QB Jared Goff on Sunday. The Rams will instead start John Wolford, who has exactly zero snaps in the NFL.
The Rams also announced that WR Cooper Kupp was placed on the reserve/Covid list, meaning that they’re already without their QB and No. 1 wide receiver. Kupp finishes the regular season with 974 receiving yards.
The Packers enter Sunday as -245 favorites against the Bears. In terms of probability, that’s about a 71% chance of beating the Bears.
So you’re telling me there’s a chance?
Those chances aren’t great, however.
Statistically speaking, the most likely scenario is that the Bears lose to Green Bay, Rams lose to the Cardinals and the Bears finish the season at a disappointing 8-8.
At the moment, the Bears have the 20th pick in the 2021 NFL Draft. And even if they don’t make the playoffs, they move up to only the 17th or 18th pick.
There is no ideal scenario for the Bears from here other than making the playoffs and going on a run, which is extremely unlikely. The Bears will be heavy underdogs if they do manage to make the playoffs.
Sure, the Bears have won three in a row. Their offense has finally broken out and has scored 110 points in their last three games.
But fans seem to have forgotten that the last three games have been against the Texans, Vikings and Lions who are a combined 15-30 this year. And two of those wins were the Lions and Vikings over the Bears.
So, there’s three scenarios here.
A) The Bears don’t make the playoffs, fall to 8-8 and take a mid-round pick in the first round. Woof.
B) The Bears do make the playoffs, take a pick somewhere in the 19s to early 20s, and get eliminated in the Wild Card Round
C) The Bears make the playoffs and go on a run in the postseason.
Unless it’s C (which is as we discussed is highly unlikely), then the 2020 season was a total waste for the Bears and they’ll have another year of being stuck in purgatory without a sense of direction, a completely inconsistent team and an unexciting mid-round pick for next year.
Combine that with zero clarity around the true abilities of GM Ryan Pace, head coach Matt Nagy, QB Mitch Trubisky and a defense that has regressed under Chuck Pagano and the Bears are really in a no-win situation.
Ideally, the Bears shock Green Bay and go on a run in the playoffs. At this point, there’s no point in losing just to move up a pick or two in the draft. But the odds are stacked against them.
And you know, there’s that whole very possible scenario in which the Packers crush the Bears playoff hopes yet again and we have a whole offseason to stew in the fact that the moldy Cheese fans that eat raw meat for the holidays destroyed another Bears playoff dream.
One could certainly argue that the Bears would have been better off just tanking in 2020, as they could formulate a plan to contend in the future. But as we head into Week 17, all Bears fans can do is hope and pray that they shock the league and play at an elite level.
After all, Chicago sports fans need it after this year and past week.