Tougher road ahead
The beauty of being the worst team in the division? You tend to have an easier schedule, which means you tend to get more wins. So when you win more, the schedule will undeniably get harder. That much is clear. Obviously, the week-by-week breakdown has yet to be determined but with the regular season long in the books, we at least know who the Bears play next season.
And, yes, it will most certainly be a challenge:
While the divisional games are a formality, they get the AFC West and NFC East along with the top dogs from the NFC South and West.
As you can see, there are some pretty good teams here. While you can make an argument that they should handle the division games plus at least two of the NFC East games, the AFC West among others presents some challenges.
Luckily, the Saints, Cowboys, Chargers, and Chiefs will be at Soldier Field, which will undeniably help. But the road games at Philadelphia, the Los Angles Rams and Denver will certainly be challenges.
The expectation is that the offense improves, there’s not much drop-off defensively with a potential change in philosophy, and Nagy improves as a coach and play-caller. So while a 12-4 record may seem difficult to top, a winning record is still possible.
However, this schedule does present pitfalls as any schedule will. Therefore, the Bear’s success this season cannot be taken for granted.
The road will not get any easier from here on out if they expect to be Super Bowl contenders on an annual basis.