Chicago Bears

Could the Chicago Bears win the Super Bowl?

Call me crazy, but the Chicago Bears look like a team that could take home the Lombardi Trophy.

It’s no longer a question that can be avoided. It needs to be asked, and now is the time to ask it.

The Chicago Bears are a really good football team. They came into the 2018 season with high expectations, and they’ve lived up to them. Heck, they’ve exceeded them.

So here’s the question: are the Bears good enough to win the Super Bowl?

And here’s the answer: yes, they are.

It might be a hot take, but after 10 games — and especially after their 25-20 win over the Minnesota Vikings on Sunday Night Football gave them a firm grip on first place in the NFC North — the 7-3 Bears look like a Super Bowl contender.

They are playing defense at an elite level, due in large part to the ferocious Khalil Mack, who notched another sack, forced fumble and fumble recovery against the Vikes. Their offense, led by second-year quarterback Mitchell Trubisky, has made tremendous strides to the point where they can now be considered one of the better offenses in the NFL. Chicago finally has a coach in Matt Nagy that stresses offensive creativity, something they’ve been trying to find for years.

If there’s any main concern, it remains Trubisky. While improving rapidly, he still only threw for 165 yards with two interceptions and a dropped pick-six by Xavier Rhodes. It has to be said that Trubisky could be the undoing of this group come January.

However, after Minnesota made it a one-possession game in the fourth quarter, Trubisky responded by leading the Bears down the field and setting up Cody Parkey for a 48-yard field goal to put the game out of reach.

Still, the road to Super Bowl LIII in Atlanta won’t be easy; the Los Angeles Rams and New Orleans Saints are running away with the NFC right now, and they possess two of the most dynamic offenses in football. To get to the Super Bowl, the Bears would have to play and beat at least one of those two teams on their home field in January, or maybe even both of them. It’s a nightmarish challenge, and the mere thought of it almost seems insurmountable.

Again, the Bears aren’t as good as those teams over the course of a season. There’s no argument to the contrary. Yet in one game, Chicago has elite traits, and enough of them to pull an upset whether it be in New Orleans or Los Angeles. It won’t be easy, though, as the last team to win a Super Bowl without a first-round bye is the ’12 Baltimore Ravens.

Ultimately this Bears defense is everything for its team. We’ve seen teams stifle the league’s best offenses in the playoffs by simply playing lights-out defensive football. Look at the 2001 New England Patriots, or the ’07 New York Giants. They were heavy underdogs and were often  overlooked, but won the Super Bowl because their defenses were too much to handle.

The ’18 Bears have that same feel. Nobody expects them to beat the Rams or the Saints in the playoffs. But you can bet there isn’t a quarterback in the NFL — including Jared Goff and Drew Brees — that wants to stand under center and see Khalil Mack and Co. staring back at them.

Next: NFL playoff picture: AFC has wild card logjam

Chicago has a Super Bowl-winning defense. Trubisky and friends can play like a Super Bowl-winning offense. If both units click at the right time, the Bears could be raising the Lombardi Trophy in Atlanta next February.

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