Had Borussia Dortmund won their final game in 2015, they would have stayed just five points behind Bayern Munich on the 2015 2016 Bundesliga table-something that might have put a bit of pressure on the Bavarians headed into the New Year. Instead, Dortmund lost 1-2 in an away game against FC Koln-a lukewarm outcome that closed out the football club's mostly stellar autumn in disappointing fashion.

A Great Start

The question now is whether Dortmund-who trail eight points behind Bayern Munich at the season's halfway point-can still contend for a Bundesliga title in 2016. At the beginning of the season, the Black and Yellows looked poised to challenge the Bavarians for their German football clubs. Munich had won the title three years running, and Dortmund had a near-disastrous season in 2014 2015, finishing seventh in the league. The poor outcome led to the resignation of beloved manager Jurgen Klopp and begged the question of whether or not BVB's golden age was over.

If there were fears about how Borussia Dortmund would perform without Klopp-and under the new management of Thomas Tuchel-they didn't last long. With two 4-0 victories in a row to start the season (against Borussia Monchengladbach and Ingolstadt 04, respectively), the Black and Yellows quickly showed that they were ready to compete for the Bundesliga title once more. In fact, BVB won each of their first five games, conceding just three goals along the way. In fact, over a month into the 2015 2016 campaign, Dortmund were leading the league, ahead of Bayern Munich.

The Rough Patch

Then, in week six of the Bundesliga competition, the Black and Yellows hit a rough patch. A 1-1 draw with Hoffenheim broke the soccer club's winning streak and gave Munich the wiggle room they needed to push into first place. Another draw, this one with Darmstadt 98, followed in week seven while week eight brought a highly-anticipated head-to-head showdown with Bayern Munich. The Bavarians won 5-1.

Borussia Dortmund did bounce back after that rough patch, winning four Bundesliga matches in a row and always holding strong in second place. A loss against Hamburg in late November tempered fan excitement somewhat, but BVB have still been stellar for most of the fall, beating top German soccer squads like Bayer Leverkusen, Schalke 04, and Wolfsburg.

Furthermore, while Bayern may still be leading the league heading into 2016, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang is the top scorer in the Bundesliga at this juncture, with 18 goals in Dortmund's first 17 matches. Robert Lewandowski, Bayern Munich's top player, has only scored 15 goals in league play so far. And for those keeping track, last season's top scorer, Eintracht Frankfurt's Alexander Meier, only scored 19 goals for the entire Bundesliga season.

Catching Bayern Munich

Needless to say, Borussia Dortmund fans have a lot of things to be happy and excited about headed into their football team's lengthy winter break. Unfortunately, the club's rough patch-and their precipitous loss to Bayern Munich-may well have been a sign that BVB just don't have quite enough firepower to keep the Bavarians from winning their fourth straight Bundesliga title. The Black and Yellows will have to make up eight points in the second half of the season to catch Bayern, and since the defending champions only gave up five points in the first half of the season, Dortmund's title chances seem like a long shot at this point.

Of course, Bayern Munich could still feasibly open themselves up to a vulnerability in the second half of the season. Last year, the Bavarians only missed out on six points from their first 17 matches, thanks to three draws. They were distinctly less solid throughout the second half of the season, losing five matches and drawing another. Ultimately, that fact didn't matter: no one was close enough to catch Munich, despite the fact that they gave up 17 points during the second half of the season. This season, though, with Dortmund still in relatively close pursuit, Bayern Munich will have to do better in their second 17 games if they want to clinch the title.

Do you think the Black and Yellows can still pass Bayern Munich and win the Bundesliga title next spring? Stop by Soccer Box and pick up a Borussia Dortmund jersey 2015/16 to root for the football club and their rise-from-the-ashes narrative!