How the Chicago Bears can make the playoffs in 2017

(Photo by Wesley Hitt/Getty Images)
(Photo by Wesley Hitt/Getty Images) /
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Chicago Bears fans
(Photo by Kena Krutsinger/Getty Images) /

The schedule gets softer

The Chicago Bears sit at a record of 3-4. A win over the New Orleans Saints tomorrow could propel the team to .500 (4-4). Considering the Chicago Bears started the season at 0-2, I would say that is impressive.

Obviously, the best-case scenario is that they beat the Saints, but even if they do not it is still not the end of the world. The second-half schedule is much softer, compared to the first-half.

I do not see why the Chicago Bears would lose to the Packers, who will be starting Brett Hundley at quarterback. Despite having a drastically worse roster, the Bears managed to beat the Lions at Soldier Field last year, and they almost beat them at Ford Field. I believe the Bears can beat them at least once, and I believe it will be at Soldier Field. So, make that a two-game winning streak, after the bye.

The game at Philadelphia is going to be tough. The Eagles are 6-1, and I can not see the Bears winning that game. The good news is that, after the Eagles game, the Bears play the 49ers and Bengals. I believe that the Bears will win both of those games to make their post-bye record 4-1.

Then, there is the second Detroit game. As I explained earlier, the Bears can beat the Lions, but just to be safe, I am going to peg this as a loss for the Bears. However, it is certainly a winnable game for the Bears.

The team will get back on track against the Cleveland Browns, who are currently 0-7. This will push the Bears post-bye record to 5-2.

In my mind, if the Bears beat the Saints, the team’s record will be 9-6. If the team loses to the Saints, the team’s record will be 8-7. I believe this sets up a win-and-in scenario either way against the Vikings, in Week 17.

The Vikings schedule starts to get tougher, especially with all of the road games. I can totally see their schedule going like this: win against the Browns, loss against the Washington Redskins, loss against the Los Angeles Rams, win against the Lions, loss against the Falcons, loss against the Panthers, win against the Bengals and, then, a win against the Packers.

This would make the Vikings’ record 9-6. Also, do not forget that the Vikings started the 2016 season with a 5-0 record, but finished 8-8.

So, as I stated earlier, the Week 17 match-up between the Vikings and Bears will decide the division. I am not a huge fan of the Lions, and I do not see them fighting for the division at the end of the season. Quarterback Matt Stafford is playing with a hurt leg, and their defense just gave up 52 (!) points to the Saints.

Next: Chicago Bears vs. Saints: Preview, game time and more

Call me crazy, but the Chicago Bears are winning the NFC North this season. This is a young, hungry football team that will be out for revenge against the Vikings. This is shaping up to be a fun season, and we should feel really good about the Chicago Bears, especially if they beat the Saints tomorrow.