The Chicago Bears are 10-4 and have clinched the NFC North title for the first time since 2010.
Much of their success has come from their defense. At the very beginning of the season, the Bears traded for all pro defensive end Khalil Mack from the Oakland Raiders for a plethora of picks and players. Mack has proven to be worth every penny.
Mack has 12.5 sacks and 6 forced fumbles along with an interception in his first season with the Bears. He is an unstoppable force.
The offense has been just good enough to help them win 10 games so far.
Second year quarterback Mitch Trubisky has 23 touchdowns to 12 interceptions, but it has been what he has been able to do on his feet that has kept them in games. Trubisky extends plays with his ability to avoid sacks and run with the ball.
The dynamic duo of Jordan Howard and Tarik Cohen at running back both catching and running the ball have been effective for the Bears.
Part of the surprising success for the Bears has been due to first year Head Coach Matt Nagy. Nagy played quarterback in the Arena Football League for 7 years before the league folded in 2009. He played one year in the NFL as a back up quarterback before pursuing coaching. The Bears are his first head coaching job in the NFL.
10-4 with a second year quarterback in your first year as a head coach? Not too shabby, Nagy.
Part of the Bears ability to win the NFC North has been due to the lack of success from their rival Green Bay Packers. Green Bay has been one of the biggest disappointments in the NFL, currently standing at 5-8-1. Additionally, the Minnesota Vikings, who won the division last year, are fighting for a Wild Card spot. This has allowed the Bears to slide into that top spot in the NFC North.
All of this means nothing if the Bears cannot win the playoffs.
The last time the Bears won a playoff game was 2010 and the last time they reached the Super Bowl was 2006 when Rex Grossman was under center for Chicago.
With a unproven quarterback battling injuries throughout the season and a first-year head coach it is going to be an interesting playoff run for the Bears.
Let’s see if they can prove themselves in January and maybe even into February.
Photo: USA Today