5 reasons the Chicago Bears will make the playoffs in 2018

(Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
(Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images) /
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Chicago Bears
(Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images) /

Bears could benefit from a change of fortune

Over the past five years or so, you would likely never hear “Bears” and “good fortune” in the same sentence. To the contrary, it felt like this team was snakebitten. Whether it was coming up one spot short of drafting Aaron Donald or dealing with devastating injuries, this team couldn’t catch a break.

That trend carried over into the 2017 season as the Bears were on the losing end of some very close games. Overall, the Bears finished the season 5-11 and well out of the playoffs. However, a deeper look into their losses reveals that a fortunate break here or there could have produced different results. Of note, four of their losses were by a total of 13 points, all of which were winnable. Let’s take a closer look.

Close calls

First, there was the Week 1 heartbreaker to the Atlanta Falcons. The Bears had an opportunity to win the game with four shots in a goal-to-go situation from Atlanta’s five-yard line, but couldn’t punch it in.

Next up was Trubisky’s debut on Monday Night Football against the Minnesota Vikings. Tied at 17 with 2:32 to play, Trubisky threw an interception at his own 28-yard line. The Vikings went on to kick the game-winning field goal to win by three.

Maybe the most crushing defeat came in Week 11 against the Detroit Lions. Trubisky and the offense took the field down three with just over 1:30 to play. He led the team on a 55-yard drive and put them in a position to tie the game. It could have been a huge moment in the development of the young quarterback. Instead, Connor Barth shanked the kick three miles to the right.

Finally, there was the Week 13 game against the San Francisco 49ers in which Robbie Gould kicked five field goals to down the Bears 15-14. Another very winnable game that didn’t break the Bears way.

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Look, I understand these things don’t happen in a vacuum. I also understand that if the season didn’t break the way it did, we may still have John Fox and have missed out on Roquan Smith. However, the point is if the Bears had just flipped those four games, they’d have finished 9-7 and have been in the conversation for a playoff berth. The point is that sometimes the margin between a bad team and a playoff team can be as little as 13 points.