Bernstein: Bears Getting Their Share Of Breaks

November 01, 2018 - 2:58 pm
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(670 The Score) ​​​Sometimes it seems like the NFL finds a time for you or your own real improvement is met with enough opportune occurrences to make the most of it. If the Bears can take care of business against the beleaguered Bills on Sunday, they'd be 5-3 at the midway point of the season and remain on a trajectory for the playoffs.

There was another year they started 5-3 and also took advantage of various fortunate situations to finish 11-5 and reach the NFC title game. After the midseason mark in 2010, they went 6-2, in large part because they faced a list of quarterbacks that included the Dolphins' Tyler Thigpen, the Lions' Drew Stanton and the Vikings' Joe Webb, and the Bears rolled those opponents by a total score of 84-34. Chicago avoided critical injuries until the final game it played that year, with quarterback Jay Cutler spraining his knee and center Olin Kreutz hurting his foot in the loss to Green Bay one step short of another Super Bowl.

This year the injuries are affecting them, but as much as those they have faced and will. The Bears' first win was against a Seahawks team that was missing receiver Doug Baldwin, their second over the Cardinals in part due to the curious insertion of rookie quarterback Josh Rosen late in the fourth quarter. The Jets were ravaged last week, and their offense was obviously outmanned with rookie quarterback Sam Darnold at the trigger.

These aren't excuses, just NFL football. There's no reason to apologize for getting some breaks here or there.

This also must take into account what's happening elsewhere in the NFC North too, where Packers star quarterback Aaron Rodgers is 34 and playing on an injured knee amid reports of ongoing conflict with coach Mike Montgomery. Green Bay also just traded away a starting safety in Ha Ha Clinton-Dix. The Lions dealt top receiver Golden Tate for a draft pick, and the Vikings are realizing that signing Kirk Cousins to a massive contract didn't necessarily mean he'd eliminate the killer mistakes that have too often defined him. Not to mention the impact of the Packers/Vikings tie in Week 2 that could leave either a half-game off the pace if the Bears do what they can to control their own destiny.

With all that, now it's a game right in front of the Bears that features Nathan Peterman under center for the Bills, and he may be the single worst player at his position currently employed at this level. His backup will be the just-signed Matt Barkley. It's another must-have for any team with real designs on contention for anything, and the Bears are currently the week's largest NFL favorite, a road team at -10.

And getting two favorable matchups that may allow for Khalil Mack to sit out, heal up and accelerate his return from a sprained ankle in time for the brunt of divisional action is also timing that should be noted.

The road is rising a bit to meet the Bears, who now just have to steer straight.

Dan Bernstein is a co-host of 670 The Score’s Bernstein & McKnight Show in middays. You can follow him on Twitter @dan_bernstein.​​​​​​​​​​​