CHICAGO – It’s not over by any means, but to get really excited about it might be a bit premature. Thanks to a bad stretch in October and November, getting to the playoffs is going to be quite a task for the Bears.
Thinking about it might be getting ahead of oneself, considering the team is two full games behind the Vikings for the last NFC Wild Card spot. Four-straight wins are likely needed just to have a hope of sneaking in the postseason for a second-straight year.
After two-straight tight wins against struggling teams, the goal for the team is continued improvement as they head under the national spotlight again Thursday as they host the Cowboys at Soldier Field at 7:20 PM. It’s the second time they’ll do so this year in Chicago, having opened the season with a 10-3 loss the Packers on Thursday, September 5th.
That defeat set a bad tone for what’s been a letdown season to date for the Bears, whom many predicted would qualify for the postseason in 2019. Instead, a sluggish offense that night has carried over through most of the season, as the team has recorded a 6-6 record through 12 games.
Even with consecutive victories coming into the contest over the Giants and Lions, Mitchell Trubisky understands the need for the group to get better just to get the win over the Cowboys on Thursday night, let alone a possible late-season run for the playoffs.
“Just continue to stay hungry and know that we haven’t done what we’re capable of yet,” said Trubisk of the offense’s attitude this week. “Just continue to get better every week and keep believing; believe when things are bad. It’s good that we’re producing and the result we wanted, but keep believing even more that they’re more out there for us.
“We can continue to get better, continue to stay hungry, and do those little things that will hopefully separate us and make us a better offense.”
The Cowboys are saying the same, even though they have the best passing offense in the NFL and are averaging over 25 points per game. That’s because the NFC East leaders, also 6-6 on the season, having lost three of their last four games, including a 26-15 Thanksgiving afternoon defeat at home to the Bills.
With head coach Jason Garrett under fire, Dallas comes in with even more pressure than the Bears to hold onto their spot in the postseason. That’s not a luxury for the hosts at the moment, so they’re staying a little more grounded when it comes to thoughts on the postseason.
That was even true when the Vikings lost to the Seahawks Monday night, pulling the Bears within two games of that last Wild Card spot. Even the fact that the Bears have a win in hand against Minnesota and one to play against them later in December will deter the group’s mindset
“There’s somethings that we can and can’t control; that game there being a division opponent with Minnesota, obviously affects us a little bit,” said Nagy. “Again, it goes back to we can’t do anything but win.”
Opportunity number one to do that in the month of December starts under the Thursday night lights at Soldier Field, where not getting ahead of oneself will be the key.