Wondering about a player, a past game or another issue involving the Bears? Senior writer Larry Mayer answers a variety of questions from fans on ChicagoBears.com.
I know the Bears obviously have to keep winning, but what do you think is their best path to the playoffs? Can they win the NFC North or do you think earning a wild-card berth is more likely?
As it stands now entering Week 11, it seems to me that the Bears’ best chance to make the playoffs is as a wild card. At 4-5, they’re three-and-a-half games behind the Packers (8-2) and they already lost to Green Bay in the season opener. Stranger things have happened, but the Bears would have to essentially make up four games on the Packers with only seven remaining. That’s a tall order. If the Bears can stack some wins, I think they’d have a better chance to earn the second and final wild card. Right now they trail the Vikings (7-3), Eagles (5-4) and Panthers (5-4). It’s fun to talk about the possibilities, but I can assure you that the Bears aren’t looking that far down the road. They are focused solely on the task at hand and that’s going 1-0 this weekend against the Rams. Nothing more and nothing less.
What is the Bears’ record in prime-time games under Matt Nagy?
The Bears are 4-2 in prime-time games in Matt Nagy’s two seasons as coach. Last year they beat the Vikings 25-20 and Rams 15-6 on Sunday Night Football and the Seahawks 24\-17 on Monday Night Football, all at Soldier Field, and lost to the Packers 24-23 on Sunday Night Football in Green Bay. This year the Bears fell to the Packers 10-3 on Thursday Night Football in Chicago and beat the Redskins 31-15 on Monday Night Football in Washington. After visiting the Rams Sunday night in Los Angeles, the Bears have two more prime-time games scheduled this season: Dec. 5 against the Cowboys on Thursday Night Football and Dec. 22 versus the Chiefs on Sunday Night Football, both at Soldier Field. The Chiefs game can be flexed out of the prime-time spot, however.
When was the last time the Bears played a regular season game in Los Angeles?
Sunday night’s game against the Rams will be the Bears’ first regular-season contest in Los Angeles since Jan. 2, 1994 when they lost to the Rams 20-6 in the 1993 season finale at Anaheim Stadium. The Bears’ last win in Los Angeles came on Dec. 27, 1987 when they beat the Raiders 6-3 at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum in what was the final regular-season game of Hall of Famer Walter Payton’s illustrious 13-year career with the Bears.