Silvy: Bears suddenly give us reason to dream

Sunday’s game in Cleveland provides real test for Justin Fields

Chicago Bears quarterback Justin Fields, right, congratulates wide receiver DJ Moore after they hooked up on a touchdown pass during the second half against the Detroit Lions, Sunday, Dec. 10, 2023, in Chicago.

Welcome to the Bears’ biggest game since 2020.

Amazing, isn’t it?

Who would’ve ever thought at the end of September that this team would be playing meaningful games in the final month of the season?

5-8 is never the goal.

Just being in the hunt isn’t something to throw a party over.

The reason the Bears decided to rebuild was to escape the mediocrity of the Matt Nagy era.

Though in this case, you must recognize where this Bears team has come from.

An 0-4 start, coaches fired for HR violations, an all-time franchise collapse against the Broncos, the Chase Claypool disaster and much more.

This is a win for Halas Hall and, most of all, a win for us, Bears fans.

Again, this team isn’t winning the Super Bowl, but now when we tune in at noon Sunday we can think about the “what if?”

What if the Bears’ defense can expose Joe Flacco for the old man he is?

What if Justin Fields take his biggest step yet, on the same field where Nagy had him so ill-prepared in his NFL debut, against a great defense, and he makes a definitive statement that Ryan Poles should not draft a quarterback?

What if the Bears win their third game in a row and improve to 6-8 with holiday home games against beatable flawed, flappable birds in the Cardinals and the Falcons?

What if the Bears and Packers are playing for the last NFC playoff spot in the final game of the season?

Forget the eggnog, we’ve got the Bears’ Kool-Aid spiked.

The Fields story continues to be one of the most followed in the NFL.

His play against the Lions in two games was nothing short of spectacular.

But against the Vikings and a more complex defense that Brian Flores runs, he never led the Bears on a TD drive in more than six quarters of football.

The Browns pose that same challenge. If Fields can solve that Jim Schwartz defense, it will be another step forward.

Then there’s head coach Matt Eberflus.

Just last week, I wrote about Jim Harbaugh replacing Eberflus.

And I stand by that. I don’t believe Eberflus is the long-term answer for the Bears.

But let’s not rain on this positive Bears column’s parade.

Eberflus still deserves praise for dealing with a ton of adversity and not letting the season fall apart.

His defense is playing at a super-high level, and young players continue to develop.

This recent surge looks best for Poles.

The Montez Sweat deal has done exactly what he was hoping for. He played it perfectly.

I was sweating that Sweat was never a dominant player in Washington, but those fears have gone away with the way he’s played in a Bears uniform.

Jaquan Brisker, Kyler Gordon, Tyrique Stevenson, Jaylon Johnson, TJ Edwards, Tremaine Edmunds, Gervon Dexter and Jack Sanborn are all players to build around on defense.

Poles mentioned on the ESPN 1000 Bears pregame show that he believes they’re a player or two away from being a dominant defense.

On offense, DJ Moore is one of the most talented players at wide receiver in franchise history.

The offensive line has true studs in Teven Jenkins and Darnell Wright.

And now Poles holds all the cards, courtesy of the Carolina deal.

The QB world his oyster, now he just has to get it right – but that’s for a different day.

For now, let the positivity and Kool-Aid flow.

Enjoy the first meaningful December since the pandemic season.

If there’s a mistake by the lake in Cleveland, we’ll be back calling for jobs.

The Bears’ job now is clear.

Win out.

• Marc Silverman shares his opinions on the Bears weekly for Shaw Local. Tune in and listen to the “Waddle & Silvy” show weekdays from 2 to 6 p.m. on ESPN 1000.

Marc Silverman

Marc Silverman

Marc Silverman shares his opinions on the Bears weekly for Shaw Local. Tune in and listen to the Waddle & Silvy show weekdays from 2 to 6 p.m. on ESPN 1000.