The statistical revolution in baseball spawned by people like Bill James and SB Nation's own Rob Neyer and popularized forever in Michael Lewis' "Moneyball" has gradually started to bleed into other sports. Basketball has plenty of advanced statistics now, with the most popular (though flawed) metric being John Hollinger's PER stat. Football Outsiders tries to do for the NFL what Baseball Prospectus does for the MLB.
Bill Barnwell is a FO writer now at Grantland who consistently doubted the Bears last season. He thought the Bears had been lucky with injuries during the 2010 season that saw them go to the NFC title game, and also pointed to things like irregularly high fumble recovery rates during the regular season. It turns out Football Outsiders is far more optimistic about the Bears' chances this season.
FO released their an early look at their DVOA Playoff Odds Report, and the Bears finish third with a 70.2 perent chance to reach the postseason.
Only the New England Patriots (90.6 percent) and Green Bay Packers (84.7 percent) boast better odds, with the Pittsburgh Steelers and Atlanta Falcons rounding out the top five. The Detroit Lions are noticeably absent from the top ten.
For a full explanation of how DVOA is determined, head over to Football Outsiders.
For more on the Bears, keep it locked to SB Nation Chicago. Also be sure to check out our Bears blog, Windy City Gridiron.