Perhaps a team's 4-1 record --much like the Chicago Bears' current one-- is as good of a reason as any to be excited about the future prospects of the team in question, but I think there are specific things going on in Chicago this season that should be giving us Bears fans plenty of excitement -- far beyond the attractive record.
The Bears are good where they are supposed to be.While that fact may sound pointless on the surface, the fact the Chicago Bears are actually playing at the level their roster claims they should be is direly important. Per usual, the team has had better moments than others, but overall, I haven't felt as if the Bears are overachieving, nor underachieving. I don't expect their defense to score two touchdowns a game, or Jay cutler not to throw interceptions, but when you look at the Bears' season to this point, they've beaten every team they should (convincingly so), beat a decent team on the road (Dallas Cowboys), and laid an egg against a team that's good no matter what their 2-3 claims (Green Bay Packers). And even the St. Louis Rams, who have found some legitimacy the last few weeks, lost 23-6 to the Bears. The teams the Bears were expected to beat (Jacksonville, St. Louis, Indianapolis) found themselves dismantled --105-30 if you want the total score.
The Green Bay Packers and Detroit Lions haven't played to expectations yet.The NFC North was considered to be one of the toughest divisions to survive in. And honestly, I still think it is despite the Packers (2-3) and Lions (1-3) being off to less-than-stellar starts. When you consider the Packers have a loss to the San Francisco 49ers and a loss that shouldn't have been one at all (Seattle), suddenly the 2-3 looks a little less convincing. I will admit that the Lions looks weaker than I thought they would. But in all these scenarios it is still extremely early. However, the Lions and Packers have spotted the Bears and Minnesota Vikings a two-plus game lead in the division --that can't be changed. So while I presume the Packers will come back in solid shape (and maybe the Lions too), that two-game lead is huge --especially when you look at the Packers' losses to the Indianapolis Colts and Seattle Seahawks as being games that looked to go into the win column on paper.
Jay Cutler to Brandon MarshallWe are only five weeks into the season but this "experiment" seems to be going just how the Bears hoped it would. While that's an easy claim to make when the team is winning, the fact they are winning is a big deal. There is a tremendous amount of talent between these two players --something special. With that "something special" being surrounded by a staunch defense and an armory's worth of weapons on offense, what's not to like? Marshall's line of 12 receptions, 144 yards, and a touchdown last week looks mighty nice.
The offense should keep improvingSomething that doesn't seem to get mentioned enough is that the Bears are playing under a new offensive coordinator again. The Bears have put up 40-plus points twice in five games (the defense helped the second time). Everyone --Bears fans included-- needs to recollect past thoughts and realize just how rare it used to be for the Bears to put up those numbers. If the offense can play the way it has the first five games --even with the occasional inconsistency-- then what will they be doing when they have five more games under their belts together? So long as the injury bug stays contained, we ought to be excited to find out.
Brian is a lifelong Chicago Bears fan, having lived in Illinois his entire life and having followed the NFL throughout.Sources
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