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Buying in on the Bears

December 10, 2010

It's time for me to break my silence. I haven't been silent in a general sense. I've been talking about hoops, college football, and Michael Vick in the last couple of months. But when it comes to my favorite NFL team, I've been scared that I'll jinx the happenings on the field by writing anything. Having now won 5 games in a row and holding the #2 seed in the NFC, I am now comfortable that my writings will not jinx the Chicago Bears.

Part of the problem is that I haven't really known what to think, and  and still haven't completely gone all-in. I don't like Lovie Smith, the offensive line, or Jay Cutler all that much. I was the guy who was saying “The Bears are the worst (insert positive record) team in the history of the NFL multiple times. I thought we would lose the division to the Packers (maybe get a Wild Card road game which they would inevitably lose), going quietly into the January air as the Bulls and Black Hawks took back the Chicago sports pages.

However, things have changed. Football generally brings out the bipolar side of everyone, any fan can attest that they often hate their team and think they're awful in losing and that they're Super Bowl bound after every win. With the shorter season, you have to be really terrible to be eliminated by this point in the year. So, even with a crappy 5-7 team you cling to the hopes that they can get hot and go on a January run. I am no exception to this rule. As the Bears were piling up wins, I still wasn't convinced. That all changed after the Vikings game. Now, I'm seeing a defense that's just as good (if not better) than the Super Bowl team of 2006. I can't describe how comfortable I feel with this unit on the field. Even if Cutler throws a terrible pick, with the other team starting in the red zone, I find myself shocked when the opposition finds thereselves in the end zone. We have an elite DE, who I have loved since he was grabbing boards in Chapel Hill. And another DE playing like one in Israel Ijonije, who should be in the Pro Bowl. We have two of the top 5 LB's in the game, and a secondary with another under the radar star in Charles Tillman.

My comfort level with our defense is a given. But surprisingly enough, they've started to win me over on the offensive side of the ball. Devin Hester gives them quality field position the majority of the time. Leaving Cutler with a pretty maneuverable task. Namely, managing the game and not screwing it up. In the last couple of weeks, I feel as though Peyton Manning and Jay have switched bodies. I say this because over the past two weeks Cutler has completed 74 % of his passes,  thrown five touchdowns and zero interceptions. The offensive line is still horrid, but the running game is coming along. I don't want to say I'm at ease watching this side of the ball. But I don't feel as though I'm about to watch a terrible flaming car crash, which is progress from how I felt watching the Giants ten-sack, 17-3 beat-down in Week 4.

So how do I see this playing out? I'm cautiously thinking that in this season of utter parity, the Bears now have a legitimate shot at making it out of the NFC. If the Packers had stayed healthy (Sorry Teach), then they would be markedly better than anybody else. But they aren't, we're better than them. Atlanta and Matt Ryan don't scare me either. New Orleans has a good record but isn't the same powerhouse as last year. We already showed we can beat Philly. We're going to the Super Bowl.

Side Note: You will understand my haste in writing about my beloved Bears, when they end up stumbling to the finish line with a record of 9-7, after losing the last four games. My power to jinx anything or everything good happening in my life should not be underestimated.

2 comments:

Teach said...

You may not have to worry about the Packers at all. We could finish 11-5 or 10-6 and not even be in the Playoffs because of the terrible NFC West champ.

I still don't trust Cutler for you guys. It seems like it's in his DNA to self-destruct, and that by going this long without an INT he's just waiting to explode in an even bigger way than usual. If Chicago has to visit Atlanta in the Playoffs, I'm taking Atlanta. I also don't know if I'd take Chicago over Philly in a second meeting, but I also don't know what other team's defense is equipped to handle Vick's athleticism.

One thing I bet we can agree on is that whoever wins the NFC is not necessarily going to walk into the Super Bowl as a living sacrifice for whatever team wins the AFC. Other than the NFC West, the NFC isn't as inferior to the AFC as most people tend to think.

December 11, 2010 at 1:16 PM
Teach said...

I probably don't have the right to say anything cause my team lost to Detroit today and our qb went out with a concussion, but this 27 point deficit doesn't have the Bears looking very Super. In other words, Brendan, maybe your words do carry more power than you realize.

December 12, 2010 at 5:28 PM

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