The Chicago Bears are “who we thought they were.” Dennis Green muttered those words during the 2006 season, when his Arizona Cardinals blew a 20 point lead over the course of two minutes to what would become an NFC Champion Bears team. Coach Green’s words certainly seem appropriate today. After starting the season 3-0, the Bears lost to the Detroit Lions Sunday, and looked downright pathetic in the process. The Monsters of the Midway looked so bad, in fact, that it would come as no surprise if they scraped together just another two or three wins over the course of the final 13 weeks of the NFL season.
The Bears still have to play the Green Bay Packers twice, the Lions once more, the New Orleans Saints, the Dallas Cowboys, the Philadelphia Eagles and the Cleveland Browns. Each of these opponents pose very real threats to what seems to be a very vulnerable Bears defense. The loss of stud defensive tackle Henry Melton has already proven significant, as teams can gash through the interior, seemingly at will. Couple that with Charles Tillman‘s inability to stay on the field, and the Bears could face some very real, very daunting challenges as the season progresses. NFL teams are great at attacking opponents’ weaknesses, and expect the aforementioned rival squads to do just that. Julius Peppers has looked semi-rejuvenated as of late, but if the Bears have nothing to play for by Week 10, will he cash it in or preserve his aging body for a potential 2014 run? After all, Peppers’ work ethic has been questioned in the past, even though he has amassed some impressive career statistics.
The only bright spot, potentially, could be the development of young players. If the Bears fall out of contention sooner rather than later, expect D.J. Williams to cede his starting position to rookie Jon Bostic. Bostic endeared himself to Bears fans, thanks to his highlight reel plays throughout the preseason. A tough stretch could also usher in the Khaseem Greene era quicker than most had expected. Greene would likely overtake James Anderson‘s role at the outside linebacker position opposite Lance Briggs. Both Anderson and Williams were inked to one year deals last offseason, so GM Phil Emery will not have to worry about burning any bridges there, should the season hit the skids. Though their record stands at an impressive 3-1, the Bears will soon enter a brutal stretch of games that make a turnaround unlikely. Marc Trestman will look to circle the wagons and come out strong against an impressive Saints team in Week 5.
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