In Week 10, the Chicago Bears face the Minnesota Vikings on national television, trying to end their three-game losing streak. This game could also decide the fate of the team’s 2020 season.
The Chicago Bears and Minnesota Vikings close out the NFL’s Week 10. After starting out the season 5-1, the Bears are reeling, losing their last three games. On the other hand, the Vikings started out 1-5 but won their last two games. A win here by Minnesota and they’re just a half-game behind the Bears. For the Bears, if they lose this game their 2020 season may be over.
Yes, this is a crucial game for Chicago. They are 5-4 but they are a mess right now. Starting running back David Montgomery is out because of a concussion suffered last week. The offensive line is a patchwork. Last week, Alex Bars, a tackle/guard, made his first professional start at center, a position he never played. Additionally, head coach Matt Nagy finally decided to give up playcalling duties to offensive coordinator Bill Lazor. Hopefully, Lazor might be able to inject some positive results into what the offense does.
The unit pretty much struggled throughout the season. Even when they started out 3-0, the offense wasn’t really moving the ball except in the fourth quarter. The Bears needed big fourth-quarter comebacks against two of the worst defenses in the league, the Detroit Lions and Atlanta Falcons. They also struggled to hold onto a win against another horrible team, the New York Giants.
This game could decide the Bears’ fate in 2020
A win by the Bears doesn’t just end their losing streak. It could save their season. If they win, they go into their bye week with a 6-4 record. Coming out of the bye week, they face the Green Bay Packers. The Packers are again atop the NFC North and own the best record in the NFC. They’ve owned the Bears lately so this is surely a loss for Chicago. If the Bears beat the Vikings they’ll still have a winning record even if they lose to the Packers.
After the Packers, the Bears have a soft spot on the schedule. They face the Lions, a winnable game. Then they have games against the Houston Texans and the Vikings again. The Jacksonville Jaguars come calling after that. They could be 10-5 going into the season finale against the Packers. Depending on how the Packers’ playoff seeding is, they could very well sit down a lot of their starters, giving the Bears a better chance at winning. That means they end up at 11-5 or 10-6, possibly good enough to make the playoffs. Of course, that might be difficult seeing how great the NFC West is playing. At any rate, the struggles they’re facing now could be in the rearview mirror if they finish the season strong.
If, on the other hand, they lose against the Vikings tonight, things get dire. They enter the bye week with a 5-5 record and losers of four straight games. That streak goes to five when they lose to the Packers (remember, the Bears have lost six straight games coming out of their bye weeks). They then own a losing record (5-6). Also, the hopes for the playoffs disappear. They then face the Lions with their hair on fire and little to no confidence.
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Playing the Texans owning a 5-7 record and still in the middle of a downward spiral, losers of six straight, the Texans game might not be as winnable as thought. At this point, the Texans could look at this game and feel that this is a winnable game for them. After that, they face the Vikings again. The Vikings at this point could be the team still in the playoff hunt so they’ll try to destroy the Bears.
At this point, even as bad as they are, the Chicago Bears could still beat the Jaguars. Jacksonville is on a mission for the top pick of the draft so this game could end the Bears’ eight-game losing streak. The Packers then mercifully end the Bears’ 2020 season with another beatdown. That leaves Chicago with a 6-10 record and a difficult offseason.
It’s amazing what one win can do. If the Bears win tonight, they still have hope. If they lose, the reeling continues and Nagy will have a hard time keeping the team together.