Chicago Bears in a good position after win over Ravens

Chicago Bears in a good position after win over Ravens
Adam Wolffbrandt, Chicago Tribune

The Chicago Bears found a way to get a comeback win Sunday over the defending champion Baltimore Ravens in the eye of a storm, and with their backup quarterback starting under center. Despite what seemed liked insurmountable odds, the Bears found a way to pull out a victory that might have saved their season and given them a major boost as they move into the final six games of the schedule.

At times this year, it has seemed as if the Bears were ready to throw in the towel. With all the injuries sustained in addition to tough last second losses, it’s extremely hard for a team to mentally bounce back in those situations. But at 6-4 and tied (record-wise) for the NFC North division lead. The Bears are actually sitting in a good position moving forward.

The Lions fell on the road to the Steelers, putting the Bears back in the discussion for that NFC North title. And with Aaron Rodgers still at least a week away from a start, the Bears’ chances of making that push for the division is still very much intact. The combined record of the Bears’ remaining opponents is 26-35. The problem is two of the remaining six games are on the road, where the Bears are 2-2 this season.

In terms of strength of remaining schedule, Bears are near the bottom. And as this season goes on, the defense should continue to get healthier toward playoff time.

The Bears’ wins this season have come off the plays from some of the most unlikely heroes. Obviously, Josh McCown has impressed ever since he entered the game Week-7 in Washington and lit up the Redskins with a 120 passer rating. His leadership and performance whenever the Bears have called upon him have single-handily kept the Bears’ playoff hopes alive.

McCown’s not only been able to manage games and avoid turnovers, he has been able to win shootouts and outplay Super Bowl MVPs. In the four games McCown has played in, he’s been able to put up a 60% completion percentage, 774 passing yards, five touchdowns and zero interceptions. McCown is undoubtedly playing at a starting quarterback level and has been clutch this season on a team with one of the worst defenses in terms of yards in the league.

McCown's play has not only opened up the passing game, it has allowed Forte to thrive and dominate the way he should inside this offense. The offense, under McCown, is developing into the offense this Bears coaching staff envisioned at the start of the season.

On top of McCown’s stellar play as a backup to Cutler, the players the Bears have plugged in to fill the massive need at the two defensive tackle positions, and even the ends have stepped up. Shea McClellin in Green Bay; David Bass’ pick-six on Sunday; and the reemergence of Julius Peppers.

The Bears are riddled with injuries at the tackle position — more injuries at one position than I’ve ever seen — but in these last few of weeks they have found a way to play through it.

Ever since the 45-point barrage in Washington, the Bears’ defense has settled in and started to revert back to their old self. Causing turnovers, holding in the red zone, and limiting teams to under 20 points. It’s a defense that is playing third string players at certain positions and having to go out and sign free agents and call up practice squad players.

I wouldn’t say the job Mel Tucker has done is commendable, but he’s been able to get the job done despite all the issues they’ve had to deal with.

As this season progresses and every week passes, and as the most unthinkable things happen around the league, it makes me believe the Bears are in prime position to make a run at the NFC North title. Regardless of who they have at quarterback, this team is proving they can win big time games against big time opponents, and moving forward that is a great sign for a team making a push for a division title (or wild-card).

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