An Ode to Da Bears

>> Monday

Okay, taking a step back into reality, I will present a few reasons why the Bears are legitimately the best team in the NFL at this time.

1. Attacking Passing Game-Yes, the Monsters of the Midway have finally started to master the concept of the forward pass. In offensive coordinator Ron Turner's scheme, the Bears utilize a downfield passing game to complement the running game. While many NFL teams rely on 5-15 yard passes, the Bears regularly stretch the field with their receivers running routes much farther down the field. Rex Grossman has proven to be one of the most accurate NFL quarterbacks throwing the ball beyond 15 yards, making him a perfect fit for Turner's system. If Rex gets hurt, the passing game will be affected because Brian Griese does not have Grossman's arm strength. While the Bears will always have the reputation of a running based offense, they have become an extremely efficient and dangerous passing team.

2. Strong Offensive Line-The reason why Grossman has been able to dissect opposing secondaries has been the excellent job the O-line has done protecting him. While Olin Kreutz may be the only All Pro, all five starters rate above average. This allows the Bears to block man on man without having to use fancy blocking schemes. The running game has not been as strong as 2005, but it's successful enough to where teams cannot just play the pass.

3. Extremely Strong Defensive Line-The Bears exemplify the mantra that football games are won in the trenches. Tommie Harris has become an elite defensive tackle, quite possibly the best in the NFL. Along with his 5 sacks, he regularly disrupts the running game by getting into opposing backfields. Ian Scott does a great job of occupying blockers, allowing Lance Briggs and Brian Urlacher to run around the field and make plays. Tank Johnson has become a very good pass rusher from the DT spot, coming in for Scott on passing downs. Alex Brown has an extremely quick first step, which helps make him an excellent two-way defensive end. Adewale Ogunleye is one of the NFL's best pass rushers from the left end spot, although he does spend a whole lot of time on the trainer's table. An added bonus has been the play of back-up defensive end Mark Anderson, who gives the Bears another strong edge rusher. With the front four's ability to rush the passer, the Bears do not have to rely on fancy blitzing schemes that open up the field to potential big plays.

4. Very deep secondary-While there may not an elite level player in the unit, there is a whole bunch of very good players. Da Bears have only allowed one passing touchdown all season, and do a very good job of avoiding the big play. Now, the Cover 2 scheme does leave the middle of the field open. However, the strong pass rush forces teams to hurry throws, leaving them unable to exploit this possible advantage. Charles Tillman has played much better in 2006, and Ricky Manning Jr. is an excellent third corner. While he's still learning on the job, Danieal Manning has been a big upgrade to Chris Harris. Also, Mike Brown has managed to stay healthy so far. They may not be a shutdown unit, but they make big plays and generally avoid giving them up to the opposition.

5. Elite Kicking Game/Special Teams-The field position battle is a big one in the NFL, and the Bears always manage to win this aspect of the game. While he flies under the radar, Brad Maynard consistently stands among the league leaders in punts inside the 20 and net punting yardage. Robbie Gould has become one of the NFL's most accurate placekickers, although he's still untested on kicks from 50+. The coverage teams have vastly improved thanks to the addition of Brendan Ayanbadejo and the consistently strong play of Adrian Peterson, Leon Joe and rookie linebacker Jamar Williams.

Right now, the Bears look like a team with few flaws. Thomas Jones has gotten his season back on track with his effort last night, and the enigmatic, yet very talented Cedric Benson sits in the wings. (Yes, I have come around some on Benson's on field ability). Rex Grossman is currently on pace for 4,000 yard, 30+ TD season. The defense is much improved from 2005's #2 effort. The other two undefeated teams, Baltimore and Indianapolis, have bigger and more worrisome holes. While I'm not going to be cueing up the Super Bowl Shuffle just yet, I cannot ignore the fact that the Bears are currently the most complete team in the National Football League.

1 comments:

Patrick 8:29 PM  

Let me tell you what 'da bears are gonna need to do to be 8-0

1.) Chicago Bills - They got A-Train, Chris Villarial and many other shitty players, just Stop the run
2.) Arizona - Just play a simple recreation game...maybe run the statue of liberty
3.) Queers - Show up
4.) Fins - Play the JV Squad

BEARSSSSSSSSSSSS : Soon to be 8-0 and makin' a run at Griese, J.Scott, and all those other pretentious jackass' who won't be able to drink any champagne this year

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