Call me bitter if you want, being that I am a Lions fan, and can’t ever seem to find anything to cheer about.
Call me a Scrooge for raining on Chicago’s parade. I don't care.
The Bears are 3 and 0 and the last NFC team to remain unbeaten–and one of only 3 left in the League–and while that may be impressive, it just isn’t convincing. Not for me.
The last time Chicago started 3 -0 was 2006. They were 13 – 3 that year and lost in the Super Bowl to the Colts.
So clearly every polish-sausage-eating Jersey wearer in the windy city on the night of September the 27th is smelling Super Bowl again. Obviously. I mean they did just beat the Packers right? And the week before that they went to Dallas and beat them right? Clearly they must be the favorite to win the NFC.
Not so fast Chicago.
First, I will give credit where credit is due. Let me make myself clear, I don’t think Chicago is a bad team this year. I think they're good! I just don’t think they’re great. This 3-0 start just seems to be a little smoke-and-mirrors to me.
(This is the part of the article where I say my piece about the week-one loss to the Lions that apparently wasn’t.) Calvin Johnson. Endzone. Catch. Two feet down. Butt down. Standing up. Ball leaves his hand. I don’t need to say any more, everyone saw it and heard about it for the week following. The Lions beat the Bears that day. They Just didn’t win.
In week 2, the storyline following that game was more about what the Cowboys didn’t do – mainly offensively – than what the Bears did do to win the game. Nevertheless, it was 2-0 for Chicago.
And then last night. On Monday night football, with the world watching, Robbie Gould knocked a 19-yard field goal through to take the lead with 4 seconds to play.
Just prior to that, Jay Cutler threw what would have been an interception had it not been for the pass interference call that set up said 19-yard field goal. Before that, though not on the same drive, Frank Zombo and Nick Collins did their part to give the bears a leg up with helmet-to-helmet to the quarterback and late hit calls respectively.
Those are just 3 of the 18 penalties on the Packers last night totaling in 152 yards.
All I am saying is, in every game, the Bears haven’t really won it outright. They’ve had a lot of help.
Here's what I’m not saying: they don’t deserve to be 3-0. because all of the things that have lead to their three wins are parts of the game. They happen all the time and teams that can capitalize on mistakes and miscues when they happen certainly gain an advantage, and in the Bears’ case, gain wins. And to be honest I think they’ll keep winning. But I only say that because I’ve looked at their schedule.
Next week they're at the new Meadowlands Stadium against the Giants. The Giants haven’t exactly had it together lately, only beating Carolina in week one to be 1-2 right now. Carolina happens to be who the Bears get the week after that. Again on the road, but does that really make a difference?
Then it’s Seattle at home. The Seahawks are 2-1, beating the ‘Niners and Chargers at home but losing to the Broncos in Denver. I think the Soldier Field advantage gets them that win against the Seahawks.
Then its at St. Louis heading into their bye week and at Buffalo on the other side before they meet their first real (maybe) challengers in the likes of Minnesota (who’s the big maybe), Miami and Philly. That gets them through week 12.
Don’t be surprised if the Bears win a good chunk of games this season. But also don’t be surprised if they don’t win the division. I think that they’ll be the clear wildcard at the end of December, but I still think the Packers are about a year’s worth of development ahead of them. And having Aaron Rodgers helps too. They win the division.
I’ll end by making a prediction -- as if you haven’t heard enough of those already by now. To be honest I don’t put a lot of stock in predictions and don’t really think you should either. But everybody’s got theirs and I would fall under the category of everybody, so here you go: I think the Bears finish 9 and 7 with 4 straight losses to end the season. The Pack I will say end at 11 and 5 and win the division easily.
But the beauty of sports is that we just get to watch and see.