They’ve been criticized for playing a soft schedule, which so far has included only one opponent with a winning record at the time of their game. Their quarterback was demonized for shoving an offensive lineman during a nationally televised loss to Green Bay.
But since that week two loss, the Bears are 6-0 and they looked like the real deal Sunday in putting a 50-spot up against the Tennessee Titans. Like Jay Cutler or not, believe in that supposedly aging defense or not, it’s a team that, at this point, looks loaded.
“The 2012 Chicago Bears have what it takes to make a trip back to the Super Bowl,” says Jake Perper, owner of Bearsbacker.com. “The Bears’ defense is elite, the Bears’ special teams is rock solid and the Bears’ offense is coming together, especially the running game with Matt Forte. If they can continue to stay healthy and can continue to create turnovers at will on defense, they will be hard to stop.”
Perper notes that the offense has to limit its mistakes and the team cannot afford many scares such as the one posed by a plucky Carolina squad a week ago. The tough part of the schedule, including back-to-back contests with Houston and San Francisco and four remaining division games, will determine where this team goes. But Perper is a believer.
“I think when it is all said and done, this year we will be calling them contenders.”
Hard to argue based on what we’ve seen so far.
Perper joined us for the week 10 pick segment. He follows Steve Isbitts from JoeBucsFan.com. Isbitts struggled to an 8-6 finish while Tony dominated at 11-3 and Andy was close behind at 10-4. That leaves the collective blogger community tied with the brothers heading into week 10. Ahh, the drama.
So here are the picks for week 10.
|Thursday, November 8||Tony||Andy||@BearsBacker|
|Indianapolis @ Jacksonville||Indianapolis||Indianapolis||Indianapolis|
|Sunday, November 11|
|Atlanta @ New Orleans||Atlanta||New Orleans||Atlanta|
|Oakland @ Baltimore||Baltimore||Baltimore||Baltimore|
|Detroit @ Minnesota||Detroit||Detroit||Detroit|
|Buffalo @ New England||New England||New England||New England|
|NY Giants @ Cincinnati||NY Giants||NY Giants||NY Giants|
|San Diego @ Tampa Bay||Tampa Bay||Tampa Bay||San Diego|
|Tennessee @ Miami||Miami||Miami||Miami|
|Denver @ Carolina||Denver||Denver||Denver|
|NY Jets @ Seattle||Seattle||Seattle||Seattle|
|Dallas @ Philadelphia||Dallas||Philadelphia||Philadelphia|
|St. Louis @ San Francisco||San Francisco||San Francisco||San Francisco|
|Houston @ Chicago||Houston||Houston||Chicago|
|Monday, November 12|
|Kansas City @ Pittsburgh||Pittsburgh||Pittsburgh||Pittsburgh|
Game of the week: The middle hunk of the season really has some dogs. Once again there are a bunch of games that feature division leaders against division dregs or non-conference match-ups with little appeal. The divisional match-ups that are on the docket feature mostly lower-division participants, such as Detroit @ Minnesota or Dallas @ Philadelphia, though the latter match-up generally tends to entertain even when the participants aren’t that great. The one game that stands out to me as a big one is the Sunday nighter between the one-loss Bears and the one-loss Texans. I THINK the Texans are the best team in the NFL right now. And I THINK the Bears are one of the three best teams in the NFC too. This slugfest will give both teams a chance to prove it.
Game of the weak: Many of the dogs of the week are mentioned above. So I won’t pile on those less-than-stellar match-ups. Earlier in the season the Chiefs @ Steelers game would have been right at the top of the list of dregs, but Pittsburgh seems to have righted the ship for now. The Jets could always be entertainingly bad on the road in Seattle. While it’s hard to single out just one, I’ll select the Colts @ Jaguars game as the dog of the week. It’s not really fair to Indianapolis, as they’ve been playing inspired football with a rookie quarterback in the face of a difficult situation with Chuck Pagano’s illness. But Jacksonville is so, so bad. This could be an ugly, ugly game.
To see our best bets for the week, click this link.