The Chicago Bears opened this season with five wins in their first six games. One could have expected good things in 2020 from the team that plays their home games at Soldier Field. During four consecutive seasons the Bears finished last in their division race, then two years ago, they ended that streak of futility with an NFC North Division title.
They were also on the cusp of winning their first playoff game, trailing by one point, 16-15, when Chicago kicker Cody Parkey lined up for a 43-yard field goal with ten seconds left in the game.
It was blocked, and a great defensive effort by the Bears went for naught.
When a team skyrockets to a great season, like the Bears did in 2018 with a 12-4 regular season following years of futility, they often suffer a down year the next season. The reason for this is that their success was built off of low expectations, and their failure caused by more confidence than their talent dictated.
So, the Bears predictably fell to third place in the NFC North Division last year. In that campaign, their offensive woes were magnified while their defense played well enough to have Chicago win as many games as they lost, eight.
Okay, now this team with a solid defense, a head coach, Matt Nagy, who won a division in his first year at the helm, and an awareness that improvements need to be made on the offensive side of the ball, had all motivational factors in their favor coming into the 2020 season.
Their 5-1 season opening record did little to diminish their high hopes, but a closer examination of their early season success threw caution into the mix. The Bears won on opening day in Detroit when they staged a furious fourth quarter rally and held the lead when the Lions dropped a would-be winning touchdown pass.
Their second win was a home victory over the New York Giants, a game they burst to a 17 point first half lead and didn’t score in the second half while holding onto a three point victory margin. In third week action, Nagy lost confidence in his starting quarterback, Mitch Trubisky, when he completed a pick six to a wide open Atlanta defender, and the Falcons appeared on their way to a lopsided home win. Then, as was the Falcons habit over the first month of this season, they coughed up their advantage to absorb one of their five season opening losses that cost head coach Dan Quinn his job.
The success of the Bears against the Falcons was spiked by the insertion of back-up quarterback and one-time Super Bowl MVP Nick Foles. His three touchdown tosses keyed a 30-26 win for Chicago.
After having their three game season opening win streak snapped at home by the talented Indianapolis Colts, the Bears won two more games while home underdogs to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, a game they recovered from a 13-0 deficit with two minutes to go in the first half with a pair of late second quarter touchdowns and a second half dominated by their talented defense. After their win over the Buccaneers, the Bears won as underdogs on the road against the Carolina Panthers on October 18..
They haven’t won since.
Foles did not continue to perform at the level he burst on the scene with in Atlanta, and when he was knocked out of action with an injury, Trubisky established again that the Bears will be looking for a replacement behind center in this year’s quarterback rich NFL draft.
Now, the final point, when a season is over and each teams’ week-by-week results are examined, it always inspires me to see the rhythm that seems poetic for every team. Like this one, the Bears winning streak started this season with a win on road and a fourth quarter comeback against the Lions. Last week, they lost at home to Detroit while surrendering a fourth quarter lead.
What’s my point?
I’m betting that their win streak started with a victory against the Lions, and their losing streak ended with a loss to the Lions. Which means this, Chicago wins this week no matter who they play. The fact that it is the Houston Texans at Soldier Field is just simply an unlucky draw for Romeo Crennel’s team.
Qoxhi Picks: Chicago Bears (+2) over Houston Texans