The 7-1 Bears beat only one team that currently has a winning record in the first half -- the 5-3 Colts. Their eight first-half opponents have a combined 27-39 record (.409) overall -- 26-32 (.448) excluding their game against the Bears.
On paper, the second half should be more difficult, starting with the Texans (7-1) and defensive end J.J. Watt on Sunday night at Soldier Field and the 49ers (6-2) in San Francisco the following Sunday night. The Bears' eight second-half opponents currently have a combined record of 42-27 (.609).
''We don't look at that at all,'' coach Lovie Smith said. ''It doesn't matter [what the records are]. You look at each opponent as they come in. We played a Carolina team with a bad record [and won 23-22 on a last-second field goal].
''It's just about your play each week, trying to improve. Looking at one play at a time. I know we have the Texans next and I have an idea of some of the other teams we have coming up. But I think we have enough veterans in the [locker] room to stay focused. They know how we do things -- not looking too far [ahead].''
The Bears undoubtedly will be challenged by the Texans and 49ers in the next two weeks. But circumstances change quickly in the NFL. After those two games, four of their final six opponents are currently upstreaming.
The 5-4 Vikings, whom the Bears play on Nov. 25 at Soldier Field and Dec. 9 in Minneapolis, have lost two straight and three of their last four. The Seahawks (5-4) have lost two of their last three games. The Cardinals (4-5) have lost five straight.
The other two opponents are NFC North rivals Green Bay (6-3) and Detroit (4-4). The Packers have won four straight but have injuries that are piling up and will play the Bears at Soldier Field on Dec. 16. The Lions are the ultimate wild-card. They could be finishing like a freight train when they play the Bears in the regular-season finale on Dec. 30 at Ford Field. Or they could be out of the playoff picture and playing for next season.
Regardless of who the Bears have played or who they have to play in the second half, Smith likes where his team is coming off Sunday's 51-20 rout of the Titans that capped the 7-1 first half.
''At the halfway point of the season, to have that type of game -- just picture Soldier Field and we're going in at halftime feeling pretty good about what we've done, knowing we have to play better in the second half,'' he said. ''That's where we are.''