Breaking down the Bears at 3-1


by - Staff Writer -
Robinson is a key for the Bears' offense (Dale Zanine - USA Today Sports)
Robinson is a key for the Bears' offense (Dale Zanine - USA Today Sports)

Don't look now, but the quarter mark of the NFL season has now passed us by. A few months ago, an NFL season didn't look like it would be possible, but now, here we are four weeks in, and the first COVID outbreak has reached us. I don't know what the NFL's plan will be should COVID continue to get as bad as it has been for Tennessee, but I think it is clear their goal is to finish the season, much like the MLB did once they had their outbreaks.

As we look at what the Bears have done through the quarter mark of the season, you immediately notice that they are a 3-1 football team and are in a good spot. While they may be the worst of the 3-1 teams, they have won the games on their schedule, and that is all that matters at this point. Things are starting to get more challenging for the Bears, and they will need to play better if they want to continue winning games at the pace they have thus far.

Should Chicago continue to play at a 3-1 clip, you're looking at a 12-4 football team which would typically be good enough to win the division. Given what the Packers look like, 12 wins may not be enough this season, and quite frankly, I don't know if the Bears can continue to play at a 3-1 clip all season long. If the season ended today, the Bears would be in the postseason, but it won't come easy.

This is how things sit right now.

For the first time in a long time, both the NFC and AFC are balanced leagues right now. You have your premier teams in each conference and then a log jam of contending teams before getting to the league's bottom feeders. In terms of the NFC, the Packers and the Seahawks appear to be the NFC class right now, as both have posted 4-0 marks. Green Bay has been the more complete team, but Seattle has been more impressive. With the extra postseason team this season, only the NO. 1 seed gets that postseason bye, so expect both teams to battle it out much of the season.

The current No. 3 seed in the NFC comes from the NFC South, but it isn't the team most would think. It is not the New Orleans Saints, but the up and coming 3-1 Tampa Bay Buccaneers who sit at 3-1, riding a three-game winning streak. Chicago will find out firsthand how good this Bucs team is as they will host them on Thursday night football tomorrow. That game could go a long way in determining postseason seeding at the end of the season.

The No. 4 seed in the NFC belongs to the NFC East leading Philadelphia Eagles, 1-2-1 on the season. The fact that they are under .500 says a lot about that division as both the 1-3 Washington Football team and 1-3 Dallas Cowboys could easily surpass them in the standings. Even the 0-4 Giants are alive in that division, which shows you how weak the division is right now.

With those four division leaders pacing the NFC, you need to look at the Wildcard teams that currently make up the 5, 6, 7, and seeds of the postseason. While there is a log jam of teams within one game, three teams sit at 3-1 in the standings, and those would be the three wildcard teams. The San Francisco 49ers and Los Angeles Rams of the NFC West are two of those teams, with the Bears being the final of those 3-1 teams. I am not sure how tiebreakers would work and whatnot, but the Bears are currently in the postseason picture.

As mentioned above, when this column started, this is only the quarter mark of the NFL season, and these standings are subject to change with each passing week. However, given the season the Bears had last year, it is nice not only to see them in postseason contention right now but see them with a winning record with a chance at more.

The Bears have a game against the Buccaneers this week with an upcoming contest with the Saints and Panthers in the near future. All three of those teams

are in postseason contention with the Panthers and Saints on the outside looking in. Should the Bears find ways to win these games, not only do they help their postseason chances, but they hold tiebreakers over those teams should they end in a season tie. That essentially makes a two-game advantage, which could be huge going forward.

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