Bears Insider

Bears-Jaguars takeaways: The playoffs are looking real


The Bears' 41-17 win over the Jacksonville Jaguars moved them just one win (or one Cardinals loss) away from making the playoffs.

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It’s absolutely bonkers that the Bears are one win away from making the playoffs. It’s crazy that this team – which lost six games in a row earlier this year – controls its own destiny for the NFC No. 7 seed. And it’s borderline unbelievable that the Bears could lose to the Packers next week and still make the playoffs, which would happen if the Arizona Cardinals lose to the Los Angeles Rams a week from Sunday.

The Bears have a 71 percent chance of making the postseason, according to the New York Times’ playoff simulator. Three weeks ago, NBC’s delightful data guru Steve Kornacki gave the Bears a six percent chance of making the playoffs after they lost to the Lions.

The NFL is a beautiful, weird, incredible league, isn’t it?

Sunday’s trip to Jacksonville wasn’t particularly pretty early on. Dark clouds gathered thanks to 1) A throw-it-in-the-trash first-and-goal sweep to Cole Kmet, 2) Little pressure on Mike Glennon and 3) A terrible interception in the end zone thrown by Mitch Trubisky. The Bears had a 13-10 lead at halftime – a lead only made possible by Roquan Smith’s first of two interceptions of Glennon late in the second quarter.

But the Bears finally looked like a playoff contender in the third quarter. Jacksonville couldn’t move the ball and the Bears did at will against the now 1-14 Jaguars. All of a sudden, that three-point lead swelled to 24 points by the end of the third quarter. The Bears cruised from there.

And now, all that’s left is to beat the Packers in Week 17. Win and in. Or lose and hope Arizona loses to and in.

But win and in sounds a lot better, doesn’t it?


Maybe there’s a scenario in which the Bears get blown out by the Packers next week and miss the playoffs in which George McCaskey decides Halas Hall needs a housecleaning. But I doubt it at this point.

At worst, the Bears are an 8-8 team – meaning Nagy cannot have a losing record in any of his first three years as head coach. But more importantly, it does appear that Nagy’s learned and grown as a coach, finally fitting an offense to the players he has instead of fitting players into the offense he wants.

And it’s noteworthy that Nagy kept the Bears from splintering during their six-game losing streak. A fractured team wouldn’t have been able to pull itself back from the brink and play for a playoff spot in Week 17.

So, yes, Nagy is going to be back in 2021. As well he should be.


Bears fans surely hope they don’t find out the answer to this question next year.

Robinson had 10 catches on 13 targets for 103 yards, and made a number of key plays to extend drives throughout the game. His releases, his feel for the game, his athleticism – all the things we’ve come to know and appreciate about Robinson shined on Sunday. Eight of his 10 catches resulted in first downs; the two that didn’t led to fourth downs the Bears converted, one on a throw to Robinson. He also drew a defensive pass interference flag that resulted in a first down.

But one thought I had while watching Robinson pick apart his former team’s secondary was this: I don’t even notice anymore when Anthony Miller isn’t involved.

Miller was targeted twice, catching one pass for eight yards. He had one target and one catch for 13 yards last week against the Vikings; the week before that, he had two targets and two catches for 16 yards against the Texans.

Darnell Mooney is clearly the Bears’ No. 2 wide receiver, but on the who-gets-targets pecking order Miller is behind Robinson, Moooney, Jimmy Graham, Cole Kmet and David Montgomery at this point.

I’m not sure where the Bears go if Robinson leaves in free agency next year, but it doesn’t look like Miller. Replacing his steady, reliable, top-wide-receiver production would not be easy, and it might be impossible. For a team that looks like it’s going to run everything back next year – same coach, maybe the same quarterback – not including Robinson in that equation would be a worrying development.

For now, though, just enjoy Robinson while he’s guaranteed to be in Chicago – certainly for one more game, and maybe more into January.


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