After last season’s remarkable run, there was a ton of hope for Mitchell Trubisky, and the Chicago Bears this season. But after a 3-5 start to the season that saw Trubisky and the offense in general play awful, the playoffs were nothing more than an afterthought—at that point.
Fast forward from the midway point of the season to the present, and the team actually looks pretty good. Trubisky looked great tearing up the Dallas Cowboys on Thursday Night Football en route to a 31-24 win.
The victory was their fourth win in their last five games and improved their record to 7-6. As crazy as it sounds, that puts them back in the playoff hunt.
With the Packers leading the division at 9-3, they are not going to win the NFC North. That honor belongs to Green Bay (or Minnesota if Green Bay implodes). That leaves the Bears looking at winning one of the wildcards.
If the playoffs were to start tomorrow, the San Francisco 49ers would be the No. 5 seed in the NFC and the Vikings the No. 6. Chicago would be the No. 8 seed behind the Los Angeles Rams. So, for the Bears to steal a wild card spot, they need the Vikings and Rams to falter down the stretch while they shine.
It could happen if they finish 8-8 with losses to the Packers and Chiefs and a win over Minnesota. But the Vikings would need to lose four straight and the Rams three of their final four. It could absolutely happen to the Rams who face Seattle, Dallas, and Sa Francisco the next three weeks.
The Vikings will not cooperate, though.
Now, if the Bears were to finish 9-7 with their one loss coming against the Packers, they could sneak in. Minnesota would need to win this week and then drop their final three. The Bears would also need the Rams to lose to the Seahawks, Cowboys, and 49ers (entirely possible), and then beat the Cardinals.
The most plausible scenario involves the Bears running the table to finish 10-6 (yes, that would mean beating the Packers, Chiefs, and Vikings to finish the season). Minnesota would need to beat the Lions this week and Chargers next before losing to the Packers and Bears.
As for the Rams, they lose to Seattle and San Francisco but then beat the Cowboys and Cardinals.
It may be hard to see the Bears beating the Packers, Chiefs, and Vikings. But if they can play as they did against the Cowboys, it is not impossible to imagine. The expectations for the Rams and Vikings are not that crazy either.
That doesn’t mean it will happen. But it doesn’t mean it will not either. Is it a scenario worth betting on, though?
At DraftKings, the odds of the Bears making the playoffs are +5000 (-286 for Green Bay and +235 for Minnesota). That means the Bears have less than a two percent chance of making the playoffs. It also means that a $10 bet can win you $500 if they do.
Make the bet.