Jordan Howard guarantees Bears will make playoffs

Ex-Bears coach John Fox believes Chicago is close to turning the corner and finally getting out of the cellar of the North. His message hit its mark with his former players.

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Running back joined Network’s Good Morning Football on Monday and was asked point-blank to give a prediction about the 2018 season. Howard took the opportunity to shoot his shot.

“The Bears are definitely going to have a winning season. We’re going to get to the playoffs. So I guarantee we get to the playoffs,” Howard said.

OMG! A football player predicted in February great things will happen months from now! Tear down the house!

As we’ve noted innumerable times in this space: If an NFL player — or any pro athlete — doesn’t believe he/she can win every time out, he/she wouldn’t have made it this far in the sport.

Alshon Jeffery Chicago Bears Nike Game Jersey - Navy Blue
Chicago Bears Nike Game Jersey – Navy Blue

Howard’s confidence in a turnaround after a five-win season lies in the bevy of close games the Bears lost in 2017.

“Football is football. We can compete with anybody,” Howard said. “We showed that in a lot of games last year. The Vikings, the first game they beat us by three points. The Lions beat us by three points. The Packers, we struggled with the first game; the second game we almost beat them. We can compete with anybody in the NFL. You’ve always got to be confident. If you’re playing the game, you might as well be confident. If you’re not confident there’s no reason to play with .”

The Bears lost six games in 2017 by one score. Howard is correct that Chicago played each of its division rivals close in one matchup with each foe. However, they also lost to the Vikings, Packers, and Lions by 10-plus points in each of the other tilts. To go along with their bevy of close losses, the Bears also got blown out by 20-plus points on three different occasions.

After letting go of Jay Cutler last offseason, Chicago signed Glennon to a three-year deal worth $45 million. That was before the Bears then traded up one spot in the draft to select their quarterback of the future, Mitchell Trubisky.

Glennon started the first four games of the season, completing 66.4 percent of his passes for 833 yards and compiling a 4:7 TD-turnover ratio. Chicago went 1-3 through the first quarter, and Glennon was benched for the rookie, never to see the field again in a Bears uniform.

This move is not shocking in the slightest, as Trubisky flashed potential in his 12 starts. Plus, Glennon’s contract had a “2018 out” built into it. Glennon will walk from the Bears with only $18.5 million, which was guaranteed at signing. The release also frees up over $11 million in cap space this season and $14 million next year.

McPhee spent three seasons in Chicago after signing a five-year $38.75 million contract in 2015, this after four seasons in Baltimore. The 29-year-old pass rusher has been unable to stay completely healthy through his three-year tenure in the Windy City — he ended 2017 on IR with a shoulder injury. In 36 games, McPhee compiled 90 total tackles and 14 combined sacks.

Despite owning leadership qualities and pass-rush punch, the Bears deemed his large salary combine with health issues too much to keep around heading into his age-30 season.

Demps, meanwhile, represents one of general manager Ryan Pace’s free-agent whiffs. The 32-year-old safety signed a three-year, $13.5 million contract last March, with $5 million guaranteed. Demps lasted just three games with the Bears before being placed on IR with a broken arm.