Are the Chicago Bears the NFL's Most Complete Team?

Chris Roling@@Chris_RolingFeatured ColumnistNovember 4, 2012

NASHVILLE, TN - NOVEMBER 04:  Corey Wootton #98 of the Chicago Bears celebrates scoring a touchdown on a blocked punt with teammates Blake Costanzo #52 and J.T. Thomas #97 at LP Field on November 4, 2012 in Nashville, Tennessee.  (Photo by Frederick Breedon/Getty Images)
Frederick Breedon/Getty Images

The Chicago Bears are sitting alone atop the NFC North with a 7-1 record after absolutely destroying the Tennessee Titans in a Week 9 matchup. 

Chicago came into the game against the Titans with a lot of momentum after a thrilling one-point victory over the Carolina Panthers the week before. The Bears decimated the Titans in every aspect of the game en route to a 51-20 victory. 

With the way the Bears are playing, it begs the question—are the Bears the NFL's most complete team?

It's a short list, but the Bears have to be near the top in that category. Led by quarterback Jay Cutler, the Bears have managed to put just enough points on the board week in and out to win games while being backed by an elite defense.

Cutler has already nearly thrown for 2,000 yards to go along with his 12 touchdowns and eight interceptions. He can be a game manager at times, but also has the propensity to play at an elite level should the Bears find themselves in a shootout. 

Cutler's favorite target, wide receiver Brandon Marshall, is one of the best in the league. With 797 receiving yards and seven scores, Marshall is the elite No. 1 receiver every team dreams of having on a weekly basis. 

Behind Cutler is one of the better running backs in the league in Matt Forte. Forte has 539 yards and three touchdowns on the season and is backed-up by one of the better second options in the league in Michael Bush. 

Defensively, the Bears tout one of the best units in the NFL, thanks to a pair of outstanding cornerbacks in Charles Tillman and Tim Jennings.

Tillman has been one of the better cornerbacks in the NFL for quite some time, and has locked down elite options such as the Detroit Lions wide receiver Calvin Johnson with ease in 2012. Opposite of Tillman, Jennings has intercepted a jaw-dropping six passes already and quietly been one of the better defenders in the league. 

In the trenches, Julius Peppers and Henry Melton have both been dominant, each having already recorded five sacks on the season. 

What serves as the Bears biggest strength so far is the ability for the defense to score points as well. Tillman has scored two defensive touchdowns on his own already, as has veteran linebacker Lance Briggs. 

In total, the defense has scored seven touchdowns to date, which takes a massive load of pressure off the offense to score every time down the field. It may not be consistent for the rest of the season, but the defense is winning Chicago games in more ways than one. 

Add in a great special teams unit led by elite kick-returner Devin Hester, and the Bears may easily have the most complete team in all of football. 

The Bears have defeated some stiff competition so far in 2012, including the Detroit Lions and Dallas Cowboys, but its one loss has come at the hands of the division rival Green Bay Packers. The rest of the schedule in 2012 isn't as kind, with matchups against the San Francisco 49ers, Seattle Seahawks and other members of the NFC North looming. 

There are only two teams in the NFL that can also put in a bid for the most complete team label—the New York Giants and the San Francisco 49ers. 

Eli Manning and the Giants are the defending Super Bowl champs and have been making quick work of any and all opposition. The 49ers have been doing much of the same, but the jury will decide when San Francisco and Chicago clashes in Week 11. 

At the end of the day, the title for most complete team will likely be decided in the NFC portion of the postseason. 

As of now, the Bears have to be considered the NFL's most complete team. Chicago has it all—an elite defense that can score, a franchise quarterback directing an offense that has two of the better running backs and wide receivers in the league, and a game-changing special teams unit that can win games on its own. 

The Chicago Bears are the NFL's most complete team right now. If Cutler and Co. can hold onto that title for all of 2012 and longer remains to be seen.