A Chicago Bears Super Bowl run felt like a far-off dream when the 2018 season began. It’s no surprise. This franchise was still in the midst of a lengthy rebuild dating back to 2015. Phil Emery’s promises of a quick fix never came to pass. The roster was old and filling with too many malcontents to ever be considered a true championship threat. So GM Ryan Pace set about changing everything from top to bottom.
He altered much of the scouting department, added a coaching staff littered with experience, and began to build the roster primarily through the draft. Things didn’t get off to the best start as the Bears went 6-10, 3-13, and 5-11 over his first three seasons. However, signs began to creep up that the team was headed in the right direction.
Then 2018 arrived. Pace delivered arguably the best offseason a Bears GM has had in almost 40 years starting with the hiring of Matt Nagy as head coach and ending with the blockbuster trade for star pass rusher Khalil Mack. Those two men have spearheaded a season that has the Bears at 9-4 and one win away from winning the NFC North.
In the process, it’s made believers out of many that they could go even further this year.
Former exec Louis Riddick is 100% buying a Chicago Bears Super Bowl run
Louis Riddick was a safety in the NFL for a number of years before transitioning to a front office role in places like Philadelphia and Washington. The past five years he’s been an analyst for ESPN and in that time he’s come to follow the Bears closely, appearing on the Waddle & Silvy radio show to talk about them each week. Having witnessed their climb first-hand, he’s of the belief they can hang with any team in the league.
“Just throw the damn ball, put it to where your guy can catch it, and play smart. The defense is going to be there. I know that losing Bryce Callahan is going to be a problem for them. He’s a fantastic nickel corner, if not the best in the NFL. But Vic Fangio is the truth, man. He is for real as far as the things he has these guys prepare for.
If you looked at how their second level defenders in this game were anticipating what the Rams with their route combinations? These guys were prepared for it all. They knew exactly what was coming. They knew it. That’s great coaching. The best teams in the NFL this year? The teams that are going to make it to the Super Bowl? I promise you that the coaches are going to be the guys, who if in football circles you ask who the best Xs and Os coaches in the NFL? They’re going to be there.”
Riddick wasn’t done.
Looking at the landscape of the NFC, he sees it as a three-team race between New Orleans, Los Angeles, and Chicago. The Rams have the advantage in terms of more stable quarterbacks, but the Bears have the far better defense. If Mitch Trubisky can play under control, they could go the distance.
“I’m going to tell you this. I’m saying this now. Either the Bears, the Saints, (or) the Rams one of those teams will be there in the NFC. Three of the best coaches right there in McVay, Payton, and Matt. I’m going to ride with the Bears this year. I’m going to ride with them all the way to the Super Bowl.”
That’s as bold as it gets. Most national experts and even many Bears fans aren’t buying into even the idea of such a thing being possible. Most of that is due to Trubisky’s ongoing inconsistency. Then again if the Eagles could get it done with Nick Foles and the Broncos could get it done back in 2015 with a severely hampered Peyton Manning, why can’t the Bears?
The team is clearly finding their stride at the right time. The defense is dominant. Nagy’s offense is creative. Even Jordan Howard is coming around as their primary running back. It’s true. If Trubisky can get himself under control, this team is dangerous.