Chicago Bears can’t afford to squander this opportunity

The Chicago Bears are sitting on a golden opportunity.

Tonight, in primetime, the Chicago Bears take on the Los Angeles Rams at the beautiful new SoFi stadium. While you certainly won’t catch me making the claim that a Week 7 game is a “must-win” I also won’t understate the significance of tonight’s contest.

Of course, the obvious importance of tonight’s game is that the Bears can take over sole possession of first place in the NFC. While that would obviously be fantastic, there is another reason why tonight’s game is important.

Following their matchup against the Rams, the Bears have two very difficult games. Next week, they return to Soldier Field to take on the New Orleans Saints. The following week, they travel to Nashville to face the powerful Tennessee Titans.

Let’s, for the sake of argument, say the Bears fall to the Rams tonight. If that happens, there is a very real chance they could lose the next two and head into their Week 10 matchup against the Minnesota Vikings at 5-4.

Yes, I realize this is the NFL and any team can lose on any given week. But even the most ardent supporter of parity has to concede that those two games will be their toughest stretch of the year. It would be a big hit to their psyche to go from the top of the NFC North, to back to a position where they are having to fight tooth and nail for a playoff berth.

Admittedly, the schedule softens after those two, but even though the Minnesota Vikings and Detroit Lions have been abysmal this year, division games always seem to bring out the best in the Bears’ opponent.

So it is imperative that the team comes out tonight ready for this game. They can’t get caught looking ahead at either the Saints or Titans nor can they take the Rams lightly even though their only wins have come against the NFC East.

They have to find a way to run the football, not only to balance their offense but as a way to neutralize the pass rush of Aaron Donald. The Bears’ offensive line has struggled this season running the football, and recently have started allowing more pressure on the quarterback. Their performance is trending in the wrong direction, especially as they get set to go up against one of the best pass rushers in the game.

There is no reason to think that the team won’t come out ready for this affair, but good teams find ways to win these types of games. So let’s find out just how good the Bears are.