We can talk about the possibility of the Chicago Bears making the playoffs. Two consecutive wins have the Bears listed on the “In the Hunt” graphic you see during games.
The Bears are one game out of the final playoff spot.
Although they are still behind the Green Bay Packers, Los Angeles Rams, Seattle Seahawks, Atlanta Falcons, the New Orleans Saints, and New York Giants. You might have to add the Tampa Bay Buccaneers depending on how the NFC South division race shakes out. Minnesota losing games also helps.
The Chicago Bears currently have a 7% chance of making the playoffs. Not a great number, but it sure beats where the team was after the first four weeks of the season.
Besides having to leap seven teams in the standings and have a lot go their way, the Chicago Bears face four particular challenges that stand in the way of an unlikely playoff appearance.
Myles Garrett and the Cleveland Browns defense.
Garrett is on pace to win Defensive Player of the Year. The game-wrecking edge rusher has 13 sacks, 13 tackles for losses, and 26 quarterback hits.
He is the next challenge for the Bears’ offensive line.
The last time the Chicago Bears traveled to Cleveland, Garrett sacked quarterback Justin Fields 4.5 times. He ruined Fields’ NFL starting debut. Matt Nagy’s game plan played a huge role in that too. Germain Ifedi and Jason Peters, who was still working himself back into shape, got torched by Garrett.
The Bears at least have younger, better, and more athletic tackles for this Sunday’s matchup. Darnell Wright and Braxton Jones have held their own against some of the best edge rushers in the game. They have also been beaten badly.
Fields’ tendency to hold onto the ball too long also sets up a high likelihood for Garrett to wreck the Bears’ offense.
The Browns’ defense is more than just Garrett. Cleveland is first in the NFL in total and passing yards allowed. At least they can be scored upon.
If they can find a way to neutralize Garrett, they have a shot to beat the Browns, especially with Joe Flacco as their quarterback.