Chicago Bears: Final five-game stretch critical for the team, players, and coaches

Now that the Chicago Bears had their bye week, they have an important five-game stretch. A lot of jobs for players and coaches are on the line.
Chicago Bears v Minnesota Vikings
Chicago Bears v Minnesota Vikings / Todd Rosenberg/GettyImages
7 of 7

Cairo Santos, Kicker

Cairo Santos is yet another player at the end of his contract. In 2021, he signed a three-year, $9 million deal. He has been excellent for the Bears. He has hit 89.7 percent of his field goals, including 10/13 from 50 yards and beyond. This season, he has hit 92 percent of his field goal attempts, including 6/6 from 50 yards and beyond.

Santos has been especially great in the past four games. He hit 12 of 14 field goal attempts, including all three from beyond 50, his longest being a career-high 55-yard attempt. In the Bears' last game before the bye, he scored all of the Bears' points in the game, hitting four of his five attempts. It was the first time in 29 games this season that a team won a game without scoring a touchdown.

The Bears had trouble finding a dependable kicker after cutting all-time great Robbie Gould in 2016. They even famously had a small village of kickers to try to win the job. However, it wasn't until Santos' second go-around with the Bears that they finally found their man.

Latest NFL Power Rankings: 49ers rising. Latest NFL Power Rankings: 49ers rising. dark. Next

Santos is in a position to make himself some money in these games down the stretch. If the offense continues to struggle to find the end zone, his kicking will be extremely important.