(CBS) At the halfway point of their season, the Bears sit at 3-5.

It’s what was expected from many observers entering the season, maybe even a game better give Chicago’s tough schedule in the first half of the season. To this point, the Bears’ foes have gone 36-24, good for a .600 winning percentage. The only sub-.500 team that Chicago has played is Tampa Bay (2-5).

In the season’s second half, the Bears are lined up to play opponents with a current record of 26-34 (.433). That includes home matchups with the 49ers and Browns, both of whom are currently 0-8.

It’s with that in mind and the Bears’ recent progress that defensive lineman Akiem Hicks still expressed great enthusiasm for what lies ahead.

“We’re in a position now, we were in a position this last week to give our season new life,” Hicks said on the Mully and Hanley Show on Monday morning. “I know that going forward, that’s all that everybody’s focused on. This week is going to be crucial in order for us to get some rest and some guys back on the field. I don’t know what game you guys have been watching, but I’ll tell you this: This team is growing. And watching Mitch Trubisky get out there and keep the game in our reach yet again — a 60-yard run and just being able to make a play at the right time — I’d say this team has an arrow pointing up. We’re going in the right direction, and just come along for the ride, man. It’s going to be nice.”

Hicks scoffed at the notion that expectations weren’t high for the Bears, saying, “You can tell whatever haters those were, they can go home.”

The Bears host the Aaron Rodgers-less Packers (4-3) next on Nov. 12.

“Expectations weren’t high?” Hick said with an incredulous tone. “My expectations were great when I was out there on the field, when I was out there running those hills all summer and when everybody put all this work in throughout these OTAs and training camp. My expectations are always high. I’ll say this: I’ll see you guys after we come off this bye and Green Bay comes down here and we get this W.”

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