Did the Bears victory over the Minnesota Vikings, that reclaimed first-place in the NFC North and showed poise and evenness in every phase of it's game, silence their critics?
No. Of course not.
But it certainly made them easier to ignore. All through this season, there have been some angry people who shouted from the rooftops whenever the Bears won, it was an anomaly. They didn't deserve it, the opponent beat themselves, the opponent was a terrible team, etc, etc.... Every loss was vindication of their claims that the Bears are the worst team in the league, that they've been exposed, etc...
Well, for those of you scoring at home, that's six anomalies to three 'I told you so's'.
Jay Cutler and the Bears offense had a great game Sunday, moving the ball around. Cutler completed passes to nine different receivers. The defense was opportunistic, taking the ball away from the Vikings four times. And special teams play continues to keep putting the team right where it wants to be.
The Bears have a short week this week as they travel to Miami to take on the Dolphins Thursday night. They'll be shown on the NFL Network, just 4 days after beating that network's favorite son, Brett Favre. The game is one week prior to Thanksgiving, so if your gluttony extends to professional football, as well as turkey, you're in for a beautiful end to November. There's Monday Night Football, Thursday Night Football, games on Sunday followed by Monday Night Football, Thanksgiving games, plus the regular Sunday games, capped off by ... more Monday Night Football.
You might want to be extra nice to the family, at least until Wednesday.
And this Thursday in Miami could be another big payday for the Chicago Bears. During their win against the Tennessee Titans yesterday, Miami lost both Chad Pennington and Chad Henne (insert your own 'hanging Chads' joke here) and had to rely on third-stringer Tyler Thigpen, who ably managed to seal the game in the fourth quarter.
The line on Thigpen, who's been in the league for four years, is that he's got a gunslinger mentality and will serve up some interceptions, given enough time. The Dolphins have a powerful running back in Ricky Williams who they rely on to provide big yardage.
Does this sound familiar?
This team is very much like the Minnesota Vikings team the Bears dispatched yesterday afternoon. After playing their most complete game, and with a very limited amount of time to prepare, the Bears scheme for Thursday night should be 'let it ride'. Throw us one in Miami, just like that last one, and we should be sitting pretty with a 7-3 record, rooting for the legendary Brett Favre to pull out his bag of tricks one more time, against Green Bay on Sunday.