Blog Entry

Impressive Bears have turned around their season

Posted on: November 8, 2011 12:24 am
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B. Urlacher tackles L. McCoy (AP).Posted by Josh Katzowitz

For a second there, the Bears looked like they were in trouble. The Bears had dominated the early part of the game, taking a 10-point lead, and with Jay Cutler playing well and Matt Forte showing why he deserves to sign a large contract extension, Chicago was simply playing tougher than the Eagles.

But with Forte losing two fumbles -- he hadn’t put the ball on the ground in more than a calendar year -- the Eagles scored 14 points off those miscues, and though the Bears seemed tougher, Philadelphia took a touchdown lead after LeSean McCoy’s 33-yard rushing touchdown. Suddenly, Cutler was atrocious and the Bears couldn’t do anything right.

And yet …

And yet, the Bears 30-24 comeback victory showed us something important. That Chicago, in one of the toughest divisions in the league, is good enough to be a playoff team. That, when Cutler gets plenty of time to throw by his offensive line -- which allowed Cutler to get smashed repeatedly earlier this season but didn’t allow a sack tonight -- he perhaps can be one of the NFL’s elite quarterbacks. That, the Bears can compete with the Lions, Cowboys, Falcons and, yes, the Eagles to grab one of those NFC wild card spots.

In the NFC North this year, you tend to forget about the Bears, considering you’ve got the all-world Packers at 8-0 and the uprising Lions at 6-2. But after tonight’s win, the Bears are 5-3 and after pounding the Vikings and beating the Buccaneers in London, they're on a three-game winning streak. And showing plenty of toughness.

Chicago isn’t the most talented team in the division. Forte is one of the best backs around, but Cutler runs hot and cold and the receivers are less than stellar (except for Earl Bennett, who returned tonight after missing the past five games and caught five passes for 95 yards and a touchdown). The defense features Brian Urlacher, Julius Peppers and Israel Idonije. But it’s also ranked 25th in the league, and the Bears have allowed at least 24 points on four occasions this season.

And yet …

And yet, tonight the Bears made Jeremy Maclin and DeSean Jackson -- who also fumbled a punt return that led to Bears points -- irrelevant, contained Michael Vick and only allowed 330 yards, a season low for the Eagles.

Four weeks ago, the Bears were going nowhere at 2-3, and some of us wondered if coach Lovie Smith’s job was in danger. But now they’re one of the hotter teams in the NFC, though not as hot as Green Bay, and they’ll get one more shot at the Lions and the Packers. Both squads beat Chicago earlier this season.

And yet …

And yet, this might be a different Bears team. A Bears team that has the playoffs squarely in its line of sight.

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Comments

Since: Jan 11, 2007
Posted on: November 8, 2011 3:21 pm
 

Impressive Bears have turned around their season

Bears are a top 10 team in the NFL.
And Lovie is a very good coach who just wins.



Since: Oct 31, 2008
Posted on: November 8, 2011 1:57 pm
 

Impressive Bears have turned around their season

You do realize that there are 2 wild card spots and the Bears are already the 6 seed right? The Lions are the 5. (this reverses after Bears beat Lions week 10 with the Bears then being 5 and the Lions being 6)



Since: Oct 31, 2008
Posted on: November 8, 2011 1:54 pm
 

Impressive Bears have turned around their season

I laugh at the commentors that say they can't see the Bears jumping in front of the Lions. The Bears accomplish this over week 10 in a 28-20 win, I predict.  So yes, they will both be 1-1 against each other with the same 6-3 record, but the Bears win the tie breaker of like opponents played as the Bears beat Atlanta and the Lions lost to them.

Then the Bears play the worst division in the NFL 4 games in a row in the AFC WEST followed by Seattle coming to town.  Look for the Bears to go 4-1 over this 5 game stretch. then with a 10-4 record they will need to win just 1 of 2 over the hated Packers or the Vikings to guarantee the playoffs if they aren't a lock by then already!



Since: Nov 28, 2006
Posted on: November 8, 2011 12:32 pm
 

Impressive Bears have turned around their season

I love the Bears, but can't see them jumping ahead of the Lions to get a wild-card slot. The Lions just have too many weapons on both sides of the ball. The Bears do have a great ground game and Cutler is showing how tough and good he can be when he has time to throw.  To the person who suggested they need to go defense in the draft, The Bears need to get offensive pieces in the draft not defensive except a corner. We need a big receiver and more offensive line help.   



Since: Nov 8, 2011
Posted on: November 8, 2011 10:03 am
 

Impressive Bears have turned around their season

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Since: Sep 12, 2011
Posted on: November 8, 2011 5:37 am
 

Impressive Bears have turned around their season

Let me try again cbs won't let me post!

Great game by the Bears, i am even surprised they won. Everyone did good. They look good especially surprised that the offensive line did very well holding against a very good and expensive front seven.  



Since: Jan 29, 2007
Posted on: November 8, 2011 1:38 am
 

Impressive Bears have turned around their season

I expect to see a lot of fights, personal fouls, and maybe even an ejection as well.
I don't expect anything out of the ordinary, but the Lions are the most penalized defense in the league.




Since: Aug 30, 2006
Posted on: November 8, 2011 1:37 am
 

Impressive Bears have turned around their season

The Bears didn't lose to crap teams. They lost to Detroit, Green Bay, and New Orleans. As of now, each of these teams is a playoff team. The Bears have issues, but they are not as bad as some people say and not as good as others say. They are a legitimate playoff team, but not a champion caliber team. I feel the Bears need to reinvest in their defense early in the draft to reassert that phase of the game as their calling card. That O-line is not great but if they have Forte and Cutler, the offense will suffice. They need to get younger quickly on defense or they will see the future be lost.



Since: Dec 23, 2009
Posted on: November 8, 2011 12:53 am
 

Impressive Bears have turned around their season

I give the Lions more credit than that, but I agree that they are overrated to the extreme by a media desperate for elite teams to back now that the Colts and Pats are relics of the 2000s.  I do think the Bears win though.



Since: May 23, 2009
Posted on: November 8, 2011 12:51 am
 

Impressive Bears have turned around their season

Good win.  If everyone is healthy next week (particularly Devin Hester and Julius Peppers), don't be shocked if the Bears beat the Lions in convincing fashion at home.  The first game was much closer than the score indicated.  Aside from 2 big plays by the Lions (one on a blown coverage by a player who was cut), it was really those false starts and that horrible series in the first half where the Bears did not convert on 3rd or 4th and short, then burned their last time out on a failed challenge that defeated the Bears that night.  I expect to see a lot of fights, personal fouls, and maybe even an ejection as well.  Final score: Bears 34 Lions 14



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