The Chicago Bears are on the precipice of the kind of season they have not seen since Lovie Smith was head coach from 2004 through the 2012 season.
After wandering in the NFL desert under previous head coaches Marc Trestman and John Fox, the Bears appear to have found their stride under rookie head coach Matt Nagy. Chicago has won three of its first four games and boasts one of the most aggressive defenses in the league.
If second-year quarterback Mitchell Trubisky can continue to improve, there's no reason the Bears won't be a playoff team in 2018.
The key to the team's success is finding a way to play consistent offense because the defense is already in place. The Bears rank first in run defense and second overall, and they should only get better as the season progresses.
Chicago showed decent ability on defense last year, with Akiem Hicks leading the way, but Khalil Mack's addition has turned them into a juggernaut. Mack was the NFC Defensive Player of the Month in September, and he goes into Sunday's road game against the Miami Dolphins with 17 tackles, five sacks, four forced fumbles, one fumble recovery and one interception that he returned for a touchdown.
The Bears are coming off a bye week after a one-sided beatdown of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. The Dolphins blew a 14-0 lead against the Cincinnati Bengals, and head coach Adam Gase has to figure out something quickly or the Dolphins' promising start will go up in flames.
Look for the Bears to pressure Miami quarterback Ryan Tannehill and for Trubisky to make enough plays to Allen Robinson, Taylor Gabriel, Trey Burton and Tarik Cohen to give Chicago a comfortable road win.
The Bears are three-point road favorites, according to OddsShark, and they should win this game by a touchdown.
Week 6 Point Spreads, Totals and Predictions
Philadelphia (-3) at N.Y. Giants | O/U 43
Arizona at Minnesota (-10.5) | O/U 43
Carolina at Washington (-1) | O/U 44.5
Chicago (-3) at Miami | O/U 42
Indianapolis at N.Y. Jets (-2.5) | O/U 45
Pittsburgh at Cincinnati (-2.5) | O/U 53
Seattle (-3) at Oakland | O/U 48
Buffalo at Houston (-8.5) | O/U n/a
L.A. Chargers (-1) at Cleveland | O/U 44.5
Tampa Bay at Atlanta (-3.5) | O/U 57.5
L.A. Rams (-7) at Denver | O/U 52.5
Baltimore (-3) at Tennessee | O/U 41
Jacksonville (-3) at Dallas | O/U 40.5
Kansas City at New England (-3.5) | O/U 59.5
San Francisco at Green Bay (-9.5) | O/U 46.5
Point spreads and totals according to OddsShark.
Kansas City Chiefs at New England Patriots
The New England Patriots have gotten off the deck and registered impressive back-to-back victories over the Dolphins and the Indianapolis Colts.
However, before declaring that the Patriots are back, they will take on the undefeated Kansas City Chiefs in Foxborough, Massachusetts, Sunday night.
Kansas City features strong-armed, agile quarterback Patrick Mahomes and a crew of explosive skill-position players led by Tyreek Hill, Kareem Hunt and Travis Kelce.
There are legitimate reasons to question New England's ability to come up with enough plays on defense to slow down the Kansas City offense.
The Patriots have made improvements recently and rank 16th on defense overall, but is that good enough to keep Mahomes from making big plays? It's difficult to see the Chiefs scoring less than an average of one touchdown per quarter.
New England's offense will have to make the most of its possessions and also find a way to win the ball to control part of the game. Rookie running back Sony Michel is proving to be a dependable player who thrives on contact. He is averaging 4.4 yards per carry, and he looks like someone Tom Brady can trust for 60 minutes.
The key for New England is Brady's ability to make plays, and Josh Gordon's addition and Julian Edelman's return make the Patriots far more dangerous than they were earlier in the year. Brady knows the Chiefs rank 32nd on defense, and he should be able to lead a productive offense himself.
As good as the Chiefs have been, don't expect them to go undefeated. They are 3.5-point underdogs here, and the belief is that Kansas City's letdown may come after this game.
However, they will be ready Sunday. The Chiefs will get the road win.
Los Angeles Chargers at Cleveland Browns
Both of these teams are starting to go in the right direction, as the Cleveland Browns have won two games with Baker Mayfield at quarterback, and the Chargers are starting to look like a team that could give Kansas City a battle in the AFC West.
Mayfield is proving to be a playmaker, and he has a pair of productive receivers in Jarvis Landry and Rashard Higgins. Carlos Hyde is a positive factor as a running back, and the Browns are making progress.
The Los Angeles Chargers have won back-to-back games against the San Francisco 49ers and Oakland Raiders, and while neither of those teams is a contender, the Los Angeles offense appears to have taken a step up in recent weeks.
Philip Rivers has completed 70.1 percent of his passes and has a 13-2 TD-interception ratio this year. That bodes well for the team's immediate future.
The Chargers have the seventh-ranked offense in the league, and they have a pair of big-play receivers in Keenan Allen and Mike Williams, while Melvin Gordon and Austin Ekeler have combined for 537 rushing yards and six rushes of 20 yards or more.
The Browns are getting better, but the Chargers are further along and will win this game and cover the one-point spread.