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The Importance of Being 3-1

Since Mike Ditka left the Chicago sideline, the Bears have started a season 3-1 only twice in seventeen years.  Hide the key to both the whiskey and shotgun cabinets and say that out loud.  Twice.  In seventeen years.   

Only two other teams during that period made the post-season.  The 1994 Bears, under the worst coach in football history, backed into the playoffs by losing three of their last four and shocked the world by beating the Minnesota Vikings in a Wildcard debacle that featured about three hundred turnovers.  (They were subsequently embarrassed 44-15 in San Francisco.)  The 2005 division champions were the football anomaly of the decade, winning eight straight mid-season games while only scoring more than twenty points once during that span.         

This is one of the reasons I agree with Steve Rosenbloom writing that Sunday's game against the Lions is a must-win.  "But Jeff, you called last week a must-win!"  I certainly did.  I'm a believer in the Vegas odds and if your team has a minus sign next to its name on the sheet, your team is supposed to win.  When the number next to that minus sign is double-digits (the Bears are 10 point favorites), you must win.  No question about it.  If the Bears lose to the Lions at home, they'll find themselves chasing two games in the standings at the end of the first quarter.  They'll be chasing those two games from the bottom of the division.

They need to be ruthless on Sunday.  Dominant.  They need to block it well, run it well, throw it well.  They need to welcome Matthew Stafford to a career of losing in Soldier Field.  They need to put on one of those shows that ends with fifteen minutes of Caleb Hanie.  Because while history tells us that while 3-1 doesn't put a shiny ring on 53 fingers, it does mean important football in January.  That's all we can ask for.  

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  • 1st and it feels right!

  • At the risk of being dubbed, Silver Lining Police, I think it was actually a good thing that the game in Seattle went the way it did. If we would have lit it up, this week would have had classic Trap game (to steal a college football reference) written all over it. Instead, the team is going in with a "dont take anyone lightly" stance...which is exactly what approach they should take. Lets hope it translates to a good ol fashion ass kicking...(especially since I will be watching with a friend from Detroit). God I hate Detroit sports teams...

  • Can you imgaine this team going into their bye week with a loss at home to the Lions?

    Yeah, neither can I, which is exactly why it won't happen.

  • 3-1 heading into a needed bye week would be sweet. It would be nice if we could start this game quickly for a change...squash any sense of accomplishment the Lions feel from finally breaking through with a win. Call it a hunch, but I have a feeling either the defense or special teams gets a touchdown this week. It just seems due...

    What a day of football this Sunday will be. Ravens @ Pats...Jets @ Saints...Chargers @ Champs...and of course, Pack @ Vikes on Monday night. I might have to break out the good beer this weekend...

  • Roach at MLB, hopefully Pisa T at strong side. We should have no issues shutting Stafford down. Peanut will be tested on CJ. Let's hope we see some actual FS play from Manning or Payne.

  • Detroit is a team we SHOULD beat and therefore MUST beat. TWICE.Likewise, The Rams and Browns, both of whom look worse than the Lions.

    That puts the Bears at 6-1. If you manage just 5-4 in the rest of the schedule you're 11-5 with a good shot at a playoff spot.

    But the rest of that schedule is no cakewalk. AT Frisco and AT Cincy look a LOT tougher now that they did in pre-season. AT Baltimore. No fun. At Atlanta. The memory of last year is STILL painful. At the MinneaNoPlace Roller Dome. Strange things happen in that giant gas bag. You get Arizona at home but who knows when their offense might find itself and go off! Grudge matches with the Packers & Queens in Soldier Field. Not a "gimme" in the bunch.

    Must win? Damn right!

    I have to believe Detroit comes out flat after the emotional toll of shedding that 19 consecutive losses monkey last week.

    Bears need to get 'em down early and keep'em down!

  • In reply to Albertintucson:

    you cant forget philly

  • Agreed on all counts. Not only do we NEED this win, we need to win BIG. The more points we score the better we will fare in the standings.

  • Pisa isn't going to play this week, it's borderline official. It'll be Briggs, Roach, Jamar on Sunday. Smart move. Give Pisa two weeks to get to full strength. Can't afford to lose anymore linebackers for significant time.

  • In reply to JeffHughes:

    I completely agree. No reason for him to play this week...let him get nice and healthy for Atlanta out of the bye. I'm excited to see what he can do, looked great in the preseason.

  • In reply to JeffHughes:

    Have you ever seen a guy with pink cleats play poorly? I don

  • In reply to JeffHughes:

    Regarding Derek Brooks and Marvin Harrison, I think the fact they they have received NO interest from ANYBODY speaks volumes.

  • In reply to Albertintucson:

    How do we know that they have received no interest and just aren't asking for too much money?///

  • In reply to Albertintucson:

    I hear what Rosenbloom (and Jeff) are saying, but I think saying that it's "unacceptable" for the Bears to lose this week is stupid. Yes, the Lions are bad, but maybe not as bad as last year (they were leading Minny at halftime, after all). Also, more importantly, NOBODY IS THAT GOOD. There is rampant parity in the league, and there are simply no surprises when it comes to a football game. Look no further than last year's playoffs, when the Cardinals, who looked terrible for most of the year and backed in by winning a retarded division, ran the table to the super bowl. No loss by any team to any team in the NFL should be a shocker. Disappointing, yes, but not shocking.

    I live in Seattle, and whenever they lose they get TORCHED in the local media. This week? They're actually pretty happy (Mora the Moron aside) that they hung in against a contender with half their team out. I think that Seattle was in worse shape last week than Detroit will be in this week, so I think it'd be a game. If I had to bet on this I'd take the Lions and the points. I wouldn't dare jinx my team by doing that, of course, and I'll be rooting for a blowout, but I'm just not seeing it.

  • In reply to Albertintucson:

    Oh sure, ya'll are agreeing with Jeff now. Just wait 'till he pulls that VoiceOf(T)Reason crap on us! We'll all be scratching our heads wondering why we are so nervous for Sunday.

  • Yah this is a must win, not only the loss going into the bye but 0-2 in the north and possibly being 2 games back of the only team in the division that hadn't beaten us.. would not be a happy place.

    It is kind of humorous with all this flip flopping on teams now, in preseason most guys were saying we would be 2-1 right now and 13-3 on the year and no worse than 12-4, now they are all predicting 10 maybe 11 wins even though we are 2-1. 10 wins will more than likely miss the playoffs this year. 11 might not even be enough, look at NE last year. I could see Atlanta and New Orleans both having 11 wins so the ATL game is big and NYG and Philly and don't count out the Cowboys just yet. The NFC is good this year. I don't know if anyone will beat the Ravens this year, damn they look like the Steelers last year but better.

    I digress; Go Bears, BEAR DOWN, 12 - 4 baby and we hand Baltimore their only loss!

  • Oh, a game against the Lions can definitely be a must-win. I think its even a must-win-by-double-digits. Detroit is not a talented team, but they are going to come to play. They do have the potential to exploit some of the Bears' weaknesses (lookout for Calvin Johnson), and we've got to prove we can beat a bad team decisively.

    Anyone got the inside word on Kevin Smith? Will he play?

  • Oh, while both outcomes have a bonus.. if GB loses we can move ahead of them in the north and have 2nd place alone, if Minny loses a 3 way tie but really GB would be no being 2-0 in the north. So while I normally hate GB, I can't stand Favre and the prurple hilbillies either.. who should I root for?

  • Vaughn reporting on his twitter that Briggs has a walking boot on his foot. Yikes!

  • I just saw that. Christ. The run defense is going to be tested this week sincerely if they go into the game with only Roach and Jamar.

    As for Monday night, I'm rooting for the Packers. I can't root for this Minnesota team. I've seen every snap of their season and they're unlikable cunts.

  • "Since Mike Ditka left the Chicago sideline, the Bears have started a season 3-1 only twice in seventeen years."

    Wow. As mediocre as they've been, still wouldn't have guessed that.

  • What is UP with keeping our linebackers healthy?!

    DAMN! DAMN! DAMN! DAMN! DAMN!

  • Boss, I looked it up this morning and every year I passed I just kept saying "ugh"...."ugh"...."ugh".....

    Looking back with perspective, I still can't believe we fired Mike Ditka after all that success. Yes, there were downs. But man, considering what came after, we should put his statue in front of the damn building.

  • In reply to JeffHughes:

    I find it easy to believe. Ditka was 6-6 overall in the playoffs, and 2-5 once Buddy Ryan left. Frankly, he could not get it done.

  • In reply to JeffHughes:

    Are the only two teams that have started 3-1 or better in the last 17 years really the 01 and the 06 Bears? Wow, that does surprise me.

  • In reply to JeffHughes:

    2001 and 2006 were the most fun I have ever had as a Bears fan though. Not old enough to remember the 85 or 86 Bears

  • Wait, Briggs has a boot on?

    After being named "d" player of the week, and given our lack of depth at LB, I think you would actually have to cut Briggs foot off to keep him out of this game.

  • Briggs in a boot? What the hell else can happen? Please call Derrick Brooks and get him in before somebody else grabs him. Ditka was always jacked up and screaming when he prowled Bears sidelines. Now the only place he lets employees have it at Ditkas Beef Emporium. When Mike came in from Dallas, I loved it. Who could forget when he roller bladed down the corridors of Bears offices. 1985 awesome. Halas was a screamer too. That worked pretty well ehh? Lovester is too mellow and Chicago ain't mellow. Weather's brutal. Lions will provide a true test because we're the Bears. Worried Chicago will play down to Lions level with game becoming very tight. 10 pts too much. It's never easy in NFL so buckle up..it's going to get bumpy. A freaking boot? McLoving might even have to play LB. Shaw? Forget that.

  • Derrick Brooks is not a viable ballplayer any more. Just fight through with these guys.

  • Jeff, that was blue even for you... but I like it...

    All Hate The U C's!!!!

    (of course you root for the Pack) (they're practically our bff's now)

  • Are we really sure that Brooks and Harrison have no value to us for a year?

    And maybe just have a statue of Ditka that yells at people just to keep them on their toes. Maybe on wheels so you can follow slackers around and make them piss themselves when they get a does of Da Coach.

    And gotta root for the stinky cheese. We want the Division right? Then we have to go through Minny and take it from them for now.

  • *dose

  • Phil, have you seen those guys play yet? If not, you'll be shocked. You have never seen so many players celebrate menial achievements with what they believe to be signature dances. It's infuriating.

  • MLB Jeremiah Trotter resigns with Egg-eles. Too bad Brooks is 36 and not 32 like Trots. Did Lovester even think about Trotter? Know this about him. Dude is violent, hits like dump truck and brings leadership back to Philly (D was slipping). I'm sure someone will tell me Trotter sucks or whatever but he's cat quick and brings lunchbox to work. Giants always respected him because he could take Mannings head off. Hit somebody on Sunday! Freakin Boot on Briggs. Anybody know his status for Lions? McClover is McLoving!

  • http://www.youtube.com/view_play_list?p=71288D299BABEAEC&playnext=1&playnext_from=PL&v=lVoNY9j1vqU

  • Derrick Brooks http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZYFR6_IjtPM

  • Isn't that the way Nike works anyway?

  • I'm not the first guy to point out that, noxious as it is, we have to root for the HP (hated Packers) this weekend. Boy - that stings! But the Vikes have to be taken down a peg. We'll whup up on the HP when they crawl into Soldier Field.

    And yeah, gotta beat the Lions. I'm saying the Bears are going to win big, going away, crush time.

  • I can

  • I could care less who wins between the Pack and Vikes. I'm looking for double digit injuries.

    Rogers out for the season, and Favre so mangled he can't form a complete sentence. I'm not trying to listen to Brett the announcer. Collinsworth and Aikman alone cause more than enough muting already.

    Actually, I'd prefer one of our guys do it.

    I can't root for either of these teams. All I can hope for is Allen gets paralyzed breaking Roger's arm on an offsides interception. I don't sugarcoat my hatred for these bastards.

    I want coaching changes for both teams by Tuesday morning.

    But, if I had to choose: 6-3 Packers.

  • Nicely put Doc.

  • Nothing the treasoner says can shake my faith in Da Bears winning this won. Am I putting big money on the 10 point spread? Hell no. But we should win by a bunch. Couple TD's hopefully. The D needs to put a beat down on the rookie and give Coach Rod some more vindication. And yes I will be taking my daughter to Busch Gardens Sunday just in case.

  • lol!

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