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Wednesday open thread: Are the Bears better than an average 3-6 team?

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Is the Bears’ win-loss record deceptive?

NFL: Green Bay Packers at Chicago Bears Patrick Gorski-USA TODAY Sports

They say you are whatever your record says you are, but I rarely believe that to actually be true. There is so much luck involved in the final outcome of an NFL game that sometimes teams will just completely over or underperform based on nothing but pure fortune.

Many would argue that the Detroit Lions were on the “overperform” end of the spectrum last year, when eight unlikely fourth-quarter comebacks propelled the team to a 9-7 record and playoff berth, despite roster filled with holes.

That brings us to the 2017 Chicago Bears. Expectations were low from the get-go for Chicago, but after a 3-4 start, some believed the turnaround in the Windy City was way ahead of schedule.

But now they’ve dropped two straight, including a disappointing home loss to the Packers last week. At 3-6, their playoff hopes are pretty much non-existent. That being said, there’s a lot to like about this team’s future. So today’s Question of the Day is:

Are the Chicago Bears better than an average 3-6 team?

My answer: First, let’s look at the other three-win teams in the NFL right now:

I would argue that the Bears are better than at least half of these teams (Colts, Chargers and Bengals, for certain). In fact, I think you could make an argument that Chicago could be better than all of them—although, a Texans team with Deshaun Watson would clearly be the best of the group.

The Bears’ three wins on the season come against very competent teams. They nearly shut out the Panthers, they took down the Steelers in overtime, and they defeated a mediocre Ravens team on the road.

Outside of the Thursday night disaster against the Packers earlier in the season, they don’t have a particularly bad loss—although their 29-7 Week 2 loss to the Buccaneers wasn’t pretty.

But both of those games were in the pre-Mitchell Trubisky era. Since Trubisky took over in Week 5, the Bears are 2-3, but haven’t lost a game by more than a single possession. Though their competitiveness hasn’t been because of their rookie quarterback. Instead, they’re led by one of the best defenses in the league (10th in DVOA).

So I would argue that the Bears are indeed a little better than their record indicates. That being said, their offense is still flailing, and until that ship gets righted, they won’t be taken too seriously. They’re still at least a year off from being a real playoff contender.

Your turn.

Poll

Do you think the Bears 3-6 record is representative of their talent level?

This poll is closed

  • 43%
    No, they’re better than a 3-6 team
    (255 votes)
  • 50%
    Yes, 3-6 is about right
    (293 votes)
  • 6%
    No, they’re worse than a 3-6 team
    (38 votes)
586 votes total Vote Now