The Bears enter the 2018 season on a high note. Sports writers across the country are choosing Chicago as the "Cinderella" team for the upcoming season. Even more conservative estimates have the Bears at 7-9, such as Jeff Dickerson's article on ESPN.
But what is the likelihood the Bears finish above .500, or even with 14 or more win?
Probability: 0 percent
This is not going to happen.
Probability: 15 percent
Last season the Bears defense ranked 10th in yards allowed, and ninth in points allowed. The defense may not have made major improvements, but the offense improved in a major way.
Last season, eight of the top 10 teams in yards allowed finished with a record above .500, and nine of the top 10 teams in points allowed finished with a record above .500.
Last season the Bears lead the league in takeaways via the fumble, and were tied for 13th in the league for takeaways, however, they had a turnover differential of 0.
Their inability to keep the ball cost them dearly, as evident by their fourth place finish. With an upgraded offensive unit, the team will turn the ball over less, consequently helping the defense.
Probability: 60 percent
The team's roster is better than last year's roster, and has provided Trubisky with offense weapons to breakout this season. He may not make a Wentz-ian jump as some people hope he will, but any additional responsibility in this offense could mean good things for the Bears.
The offense was one dimensional last season under former offensive coordinator Dowell Loggains. Under head coach Matt Nagy's scheme the Bears should be more explosive.
Probability: 23 percent
The Bears have a tough schedule in 2018. They play five games against playoff teams from a season ago, and have mach-ups against the Seahawks, 49ers and Cardinals—who could all be above average teams.
Fans may expect a resurgent season from Allen Robinson and a breakout season from Mitch Trubisky that may not happen. Trubisky is still unproven due to his minimal role in the offense under Loggains. A new play book, unfamiliar targets and a defense that couldn't lead this team past six wins last season, all make for a potentially disappointing season.
Probability: 2 percent
If Trubisky can not put it all together next season the offense could be as bad as they have been last season. The Bears defense has had injury problems and if the Roquan Smith holdout lasts too long the linebacking core could be even more weak.
Even if every worst case scenario plays out for the Bears, winning four games or less is incredible difficult. Even if the Bears are swept by their division—which they were last season—they would have to lose to the Cardinals, the Lions twice, the Seahawks, the Bills and to the 49ers.