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More playoff preview: Holmgren's star shines again
Rex Grossman is good enough.
This is the tenet of my take. This is the cornerstone of my conviction. This is the reason I am willing to declare that a team some thought would struggle to win three games all season can win three in the playoffs and capture its first Super Bowl since it last fielded a famed defense.
Rex Grossman is good enough, and because of that, the Chicago Bears will win it all.
I am going to keep repeating it, just like Bears fans are in Chicago. Because the truth is that it is a lot easier to declare the Super Bowl-winning quarterback is going to be someone like Tom Brady, Peyton Manning, Eli Manning, Carson Palmer, Jake Delhomme or Matt Hasselbeck – anyone but Grossman, whom almost no one knows anything about.
Rex Grossman is good enough even if he spent fourth months rehabbing from a broken left ankle, sat behind Kyle Stinkin' Orton on the depth chart until the fans booed loudly in mid-December and played only two games, throwing for all of one touchdown.
Rex Grossman is good enough to lead the Bears to three consecutive victories against the roughest, toughest competition in the NFL, even though he hasn't managed to stay healthy enough to play more than three games in a season since leaving the University of Florida in 2003. The knee that wiped out last season and the ankle that took the first 13 games of this season are healed, though. Maybe he is due for some durability.
I and Bear fans are going to keep repeating that, too.
Rex Grossman is good enough despite all the things that say he isn't because three weeks ago he clearly energized Chicago's offense. No, the numbers weren't eye-popping. But the Bears were winning with Orton, who couldn't seem to actually complete a pass. Grossman can do that. He can throw with accuracy and zip. He can heave it downfield. He can open up the running game for Thomas Jones.
Rex Grossman is good enough because he has plenty of confidence and just enough humility to know the Bears are not going to win the Super Bowl due to their video-game defense. He knows this is about ball control and getting a few points. He knows it isn't about him.
Rex Grossman is good enough because he can get the Bears 21 points a game in the playoffs, and if Chicago gets 21 points, no one is going to beat the Bears. Not high-scoring Indy, not dangerous Seattle, not the two-time defending champion Patriots.
Rex Grossman is good enough because the Bears' defense is undeniably good enough. So good enough that Chicago's Super Bowl run could duplicate the Baltimore Ravens' title drive in the 2001 playoffs in which the Ray Lewis-led crew cruised to a championship with Trent Dilfer at quarterback.
Rex Grossman is good enough to be Trent Dilfer. This isn't asking much, but it is all that needs to be asked.
Rex Grossman is good enough to ride a defense that (ignoring Sunday's 34-10 loss to Minnesota in which the Bears' starters were mostly rested) allowed just 11.2 points a game this season. Against teams with winning records, the average was 11.7. Against playoff teams, it was 13.4.
Rex Grossman is good enough to allow Chicago's dynamic defensive front four to get a chance to stop the running of an Alexander or the passing of a Manning, something the Bears can do better than any other team in the league. They can rush the passer without the blitz, stack the box without exposing the secondary, and confuse and crash and basically do what they do.
Rex Grossman is good enough that the Bears are much different than the team that started 1-3 or was so one-dimensional that it had to win games 13-3 and get points off turnovers.
Rex Grossman is good enough to lead scoring drives in the playoffs. Not as many as either Peyton or Eli, not as beautifully as Palmer or Jake Plummer and not as consistently as Hasselbeck or Brady.
You'd rather pick one of those guy's teams to win the Super Bowl. You'd feel more confident then.
But Rex Grossman doesn't have to be as good as them for the Bears to win the Super Bowl.
Rex Grossman just has to be good enough.