Following a Week 9 loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers on Monday Night Football, the Chicago Bears enter the bye week. Around Chicagoland, the conversation has switched.
It began with starting Justin Fields and seeing what they had in him. It's now become, "wins and losses don't matter so let's develop the young quarterback."
The second half of the season has several daunting tasks, but they aren't to be taken as such.
The second half of the Bears' 2021 escapade begins with an almost guaranteed loss to the Baltimore Ravens. I say that begrudgingly because at this point the Bears are 3-6 and beating the Ravens doesn't mean much. Following the Ravens loss game, the schedule is as such:
- at Detroit
- vs. Arizona
- at Green Bay
- vs. Minnesota
- at Seattle
- vs. NYG
- at Minnesota
There are only three more wins penciled in on the schedule, in my opinion. The Bears can beat the Lions again, the Giants at home, and potentially the Vikings at home as well. This brings the final record to 6-11 and missing the playoffs. The rest of the games aren't guaranteed losses, but it's not going to be easy to pull off upsets over those playoff-bound teams.
This is easier said than done obviously. The point of emphasis for this Chicago Bears team should be avoiding injuries, especially on defense. Both sides of the ball have been banged up this year. Both sides of the ball can't afford any increase in workload due to staff shortages.
Stay healthy, stay mobile, and get out of 2021 with all your limbs should be the motto of the Bears henceforth.
Obviously, the focus is on Justin Fields. He has shown flashes of greatness already this year and has a lot of room to grow. However, the Bears shouldn't focus solely on him. Fields should grow with the offensive line, minus Jason Peters.
If the Bears can get Teven Jenkins back and Larry Borom continues to play hard, then they can grow collectively into a firm NFL offense.
This is the first time I haven't been completely pessimistic about the Bears since they went 12-4 in 2018. They have the chance to create sustainable success for the foreseeable future. Wouldn't it be nice to have that for a change?
The second half of the season really boils down to the three aforementioned points. Keep those in mind, don't worry about the W-L column, and you'll be a much happier Bears fan throughout the remaining weeks.