Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Bears Fans: A Week to Ponder the Possibilities

Perhaps easing the blow of a Chicago -less MLB postseason, there’s much to look forward to heading into this early Week 5 bye.

Through the first quarter of the season, a shiny 3-1 record can be largely attributed to the youth movement implemented this past offseason. I know….with Urlacher a mere spectator, how far can we expect this young stable of thoroughbreds to go?

Further than you might think. Believe me, Brett Favre is a long way from proving he can sustain this vintage version of himself in time for the November 29 reunion with the Bears. It was about this same time last year, when the Jets’ post-season hopes were dashed by father time’s painful reminder to “Brett the Jet”.

With the Packers scheduled to visit Soldier Field in mid-December, followed by the likely battered Brett on December 28, and post-New Year’s tilt with the Lions, it looks like the divisional schedule lines up favorably.

The Bears D will be tested early and often following the bye, as they head out on the road to try and slow down a couple of J-Cut’s young counterparts in Matt Ryan and a rejuvenated Carson Palmer.

While the pass defense challenged Falcons should yield a handful of scores, the underrated Bengals D will make it difficult for the Bears to garner more than a split on the road trip.

Heading into the holiday season, there will be much to rejoice about in Chi-town, as the Bears welcome the hapless Browns and suddenly aging Kurt Warner to town. Sweep.

At 6-2, it’s time to separate the contenders from the pretenders. The opportunity for the Bears to do this is quickly approaching, with a West Coast visit to an old friend.

With a healthy Frank Gore, Singletary’s troops will be focused in on a very weak and winnable NFC West division. Sorry, but it will be a long flight home…and it doesn’t get any easier upon arrival.

By Week 10, the visiting Philadelphia Eagles will be running on all cylinders, with a fully integrated Mike Vick creating his own virtual “Fog Bowl” atmosphere, courtesy of “The Wildcat”. Winner: Eagles.

The much anticipated visit to Favreapolis comes at a critical juncture in the season. With 6 games remaining on the schedule, the Bears will likely need to take at least 3, more likely 4 to qualify for the post-season party.

Although I think Favremania will have likely leveled off by this point in the season, “The Real” Adrian Petersonwill be in mid-season form. Having taken full advantage of Favre’s early-season aerial prowess, A-Pete has been feasting on stretched linebackers and defensive backs. Vikings win.

This misstep with the Vikings is followed by a home affair with the hapless Rams (win), and a rematch of the season opener with the Pack.

In a classic late-season rivalry matchup with the Packers, the Bears superior rushing attack should be the difference on a snowy winter afternoon in Chicago .

On a playoff push of their own, the Ravens, piloted by sophomore-stud Joe Flacco should prove to be too hungry for the road weary Bears.

With 2 games to go, the Bears will control their own destiny, needing to complete a sweep of the Vikings, followed by a successful date with the slightly improved Lions.

I know what most of you are thinking……we beat the Vikes, but get burnt by the nothing-to-lose, something-to-prove Lions….not this year.

The Vikings strut into town for this Monday night battle, primed to capture the NFC North with a still-healthy, although now seemingly mortal Brett Favre. As expected, this one begins as a war in the trenches, with the 1st half featuring Matt Forte and Adrian Peterson (the purple one) clawing out each yard to a 7-7 deadlock. In the 2nd half however, J-Cut lets loose, leveraging the stamina of his young stallions Hester, Knox, and Olsen, for a touchdown apiece, shocking the fading Vikings in a turnaround that results in a final of 28-14.

And it all comes down to this…..a short week, and a short trip to Ford Field to seal the deal against the 3-12 Lions.

No drama here though Bears faithful, as the boys cruise past the Lions and into the postseason with a division winning 10-6 record.

No Urlacher, no problem.

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