Despite losing to the New York Giants a week ago, the Chicago Bears have an opportunity to rebound and make a big statement on Sunday when they welcome the Los Angeles Rams to Soldier Field.
The Bears currently hold a game and a half lead over the Minnesota Vikings in the NFC North despite the loss, and could put themselves in a position to clinch the division if they are able to beat the 11-1 Rams on Sunday.
What’s more, the Bears could once again make a statement to the NFL that they belong in the conversation around Super Bowl contenders. They already have moved toward that conversation by virtue of their win over the Vikings on Sunday Night Football just three weeks ago, and another win in prime time would open a lot of eyes around the NFL.
With their strong defense and an offense that will likely welcome back quarterback Mitchell Trubisky on Sunday, the Bears are getting healthy at exactly the right time, and they could be in for a big game against a Rams team that isn’t exactly used to having to play in the frigid elements.
The Rams, who became the first NFL team to clinch a playoff spot with their win over the Detroit Lions a week ago, would clinch a first round bye in the postseason with a win over the Bears, and could all but lock up the top seed in the NFC with a win and a Saints loss.
Jared Goff has been on fire recently, throwing 17 touchdowns and five interceptions as the Rams have reeled off eight straight victories. Add to that the incredible offensive exploits of running back Todd Gurley, and the Rams are very likely the best team that the Bears will have to face all season long.
That confluence of events has led to a lot of hype for the game, as the Rams’ dynamic offense goes up against a Bears defense that has been dazzling the NFL all season long. With plenty of playoff implications on the line, and with a lot of NFL attention being paid to the result of the game, the Bears have the chance to really put themselves on the short list of genuine championship contenders with a win, and with a loss, they could be looked at as a team that is almost good enough, but not quite up to snuff with the NFL’s best.