Time to take a deep breath.
After the Bears were embarrassed by the Saints in the Super Dome, it's easy to take this one game and predict doom and gloom for the Bears in 2011.
But the dust settled, film was watched and stories unfolded, giving us a better picture of what happened to Chicago in New Orleans.
Now, we could take the popular route and present you with all the reasons the Bears will fail this year. But that's not how we roll. Why?
Because the Bears are still a good football team, and one September game does not make or break a season.
Are the Steelers being counted out because the were thoroughly dominated by the Ravens in Week 1? Or the Ravens? They followed up that performance by playing a horrible game against the Titans on Sunday.
How about the Falcons? They were dismantled on all levels by Chicago in their season opener. Is their season over?
Yet you will see people jumping off of Chicago's bandwagon this week quicker than rats off of a sinking ship.
Were the Bears bad on Sunday? Absolutely. But they were not bad for four quarters. This was a game that was within reach until the replay official fell asleep at the switch on the Sproles touchdown in the fourth quarter.
"But, but, but.....the Bears looked disorganized and confused!"
Yes, they did. But what we didn't know at the time was that Cutler sustained a kick to the throat that impaired his ability to be heard in an already noisy dome, causing problems in line assignments and snap counts.
Consider this. Most of the horrendous line work came after Cutler took that kick. And most of the pressure came from the edge around blockers who were late off the ball at the snap. If you are on that line, who has the hardest time hearing the snap count?
Now if the quarterback is having problems projecting his voice after getting his throat kicked, these linemen have to react to the guy next to them, which would create a wave after the snap similar to what we saw Sunday, where the line seemed to start moving from the center and the tackles and tight ends were the last out of their stances.
If you DVR'd the game, go back and watch the line before and after the half. Cutler was reportedly kicked early in the second half. In the first half the line seemed to get off the ball as a unit, while in the second half—and particularly in the fourth quarter—the line seemed to cascade from center outward when exiting out of their stances.
Are there problems in Chicago? For sure.
The Bears discovered that Roy Williams is far more important to the receiving corps than most would have believed.
They also discovered that Major Wright is not Chris Harris, and something has to be done at the free safety position. Harris will be back this week, and the Bears need to seriously consider the idea of returning him to the free safety spot, whether Wright can pay or not.
And they found out that losing both of your starters on the right side of the line is a very bad thing.
But the Bears are still a better team than they were in 2010, when they were a touchdown away from a Super Bowl trip.
So rather than looking at why the Bears will fail, let's take a look at five reasons to believe the Chicago Bears will win NFC North in 2011.