Matt Nagy won't talk to Bears players this week about their chances of making the playoffs or the team's recent lack of success against NFC North rivals.
Instead of dwelling on the past or trying to predict the future, the first-year head coach will focus solely on Sunday's home game against the Detroit Lions.
"You'll never hear the word 'playoffs' from me," Nagy said Monday at Halas Hall. "We're worried about Week 10, that's it. If we worry about the playoffs, then we're worrying about the wrong thing. We have a lot of season left."
At the midpoint of the season, the Bears (5-3) sit perched atop the NFC North, percentage points ahead of the Vikings (5-3-1). Nagy's team will play five of its final eight games against division opponents, including three contests in an 11-day span from Nov. 11-22.
The Bears will host the Lions and Vikings on the next two Sundays before playing in Detroit on Thanksgiving. The NFL made the task even more difficult Monday by flexing the Nov. 18 Bears-Vikings game at Soldier Field from noon to 7:20 p.m. (CT).
The Bears have lost 10 straight division games, with their last win coming on Halloween 2016 by a 20-10 score over the Vikings on Monday Night Football at Soldier Field.
The Bears have dropped six of their last seven meetings with the Vikings, nine of their last 10 games with the Lions and 15 of their last 17 matchups with the Packers.
"I'm aware; I understand," Nagy said. "But that's the thing with us and where we're going. We try not to get to the past, we really don't. We're in such a good place right now as an organization. The vibe that we have. We're learning how to win in a different way. We've learned what losing is about and how you respond from that.
"We're trying to really create our own culture and create our own history. It's week-by-week, it's practice-by-practice. This past week, the four straight days we had—Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday being a walkthrough—was by far the best week of practice we've had. That goes to show to the players that when you hone-in and you prepare and you focus with the limited amount of reps we get in practice, you translate it to the field and good things happen."