The Chicago Bears return to practice this week as they will host the Detroit Lions at Soldier Field On Sunday in an attempt to earn their fifth win of the 2023 season. Despite only having four wins this year, the Bears have a good chance of winning most of their remaining games, as their strongest opponent will be the Lions. With three of their next four games at home, the December weather could play a significant role in the outcome of their contests, especially given the background of the teams they will be hosting.
Chicago Will Host Teams That Play Their Home Games In Domes Or Warm Weather Climate
Of the Bears’ final five games left, three of them will take place at home against teams that play their home games in controlled environments. The Detroit Lions, Arizona Cardinals, and Atlanta Falcons will travel to Chicago in December and could be severely affected by the elements. The weather conditions could be an influential factor given the schedule makeup of all three teams.
Looking ahead to the weather for Sunday’s game between Chicago and Detroit, the conditions are expected to be in the high 30s. The projected forecast could slow down offenses on both sides, but even more so for Detroit, given the recent schedule they have played. The Lions haven’t played an outdoor contest since October 22nd, when they lost a road game to the Baltimore Ravens by a score of 38-6.
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Additionally, Soldier Field’s turf has been notoriously poor in December, and the Lions’ offense hasn’t played on natural grass since October 15th. Cold weather on Sunday could limit quarterback Jarod Goff, wide receiver Amon-Ra St. Brown, and rookie tight end Sam LaPorta. Detroit’s’ game against Chicago will be the coldest conditions the team will play in the rest of the season, as the rest of their games will be played in dome stadiums.
Although the Bears themselves have played four of their last five games in domed stadiums, most of the players on Chicago’s roster have experience playing in adverse weather conditions. Last season, the Bears played four of their final five games at home in December and January. Three of those four contests at home took place in weather conditions of 32 degrees or less, with two games played in temperatures lower than 20 degrees.
Following the home game on Sunday against the Lions, the Bears will play back-to-back games on Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve against the Cardinals and Falcons. Both teams not only play in domes but also play in warm weather climates. Additionally, although Arizona and Atlanta played an outdoor game this past Sunday in rainy conditions, their contests against the Bears could likely be their first and only contest in freezing-cold temperatures this season.
Chicago Has The Right Momentum To Play In Ugly Weather Conditions
With cold weather or potentially wet conditions a possiblility for the three upcoming home games for the Bears, the way the team is currently playing could provide additional issues for the opposition. Chicago’s defense has been one of the best units in the league over the past few weeks, including being ranked first in run defense. Head coach Matt Eberflus has overseen a defensive unit that has recorded seven interceptions in their last two games.
Playing in terrible weather conditions against a top-ranked defense could spell disaster for opposing offenses, as they will be very limited in opportunities to move the ball. In a poor weather environment, an opposing offense would likely lean heavily on running the ball, but that could be futile as the Bears’ defense is allowing an average of less than 80 rushing yards per game. Furthermore, if a team attempts to pass the ball, an unpredictable environment, such as gusty winds, could lead to a high incompletion rate or more interception opportunities for Chicago’s defense.
On offense, the Bears have the perfect complement of players to play in cold and wet conditions. Chicago’s three running backs, D’Onta Foreman, Roschon Johnson, and Khalil Herbert, are all seen as in-between-the-tackles backs that run hard. Along with the downhill running backs, the Bears also have Justin Fields, who is arguably the best running quarterback in the league, who has been able to shed tackles consistently.
The Bears as a team have improved steadily throughout the season and could play their best football in the final month of the year. With the improved play, fate could be on their side as they will host several teams not accustomed to playing in cold weather, which will likely serve as a benefit as the opponents will be out of their element. If the conditions in Chicago are not ideal in the coming weeks, the Bears have to take advantage of the situation if a memorable playoff run is to be made.