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Prediction: Bears could be the next Rams in 2018

The Bears' 2018 schedule was released Thursday. (Getty Images)

The Los Angeles Rams are in the midst of one of the great turnarounds in NFL history. A 4-12 team last season that was outscored by 170 points, the Rams are 10-4 this season, own a league-leading 166 point differential and are on the verge of clinching the NFC West.

Using the upstart Rams as a model, ESPN’s Bill Barnwell examined this season’s bottom feeders to see if there could be a repeat of Jared Goff and Co. in 2018.

Barnwell’s comprehensive deep dive predicts good things for the 49ers, Colts and Bucs next season. But the team he says has the most similarities to the Rams? The Chicago Bears.

Barnwell writes:

There is infrastructure here. Hire the right coach, sign a No. 1 wide receiver in an interesting free-agent class, and get lucky. Maybe Chicago gets a full season out of Kevin White, or Adam Shaheen takes a sophomore leap. Kyle Fuller, who was written off as a disappointment for years, suddenly looks like a starting cornerback. Maybe the Bears re-sign him and draft another cornerback in the first round and their defense sneaks into the top 10.

Barnwell also notes the tough schedule and the number of close losses as quantitative plusses for the Bears to turn it around.