One of the most encouraging things to come out of the Bears’ 2-0 start and particularly their 27-20 win over the Cowboys, is that they’re starting to forge an identity. With the influx of new coaches, coaches in new roles and some new high-priced players since the end of last season, it was really unclear what the 2010 Bears were all about.
That uncertainty turned to panic as training camp couldn’t have gone worse for our Beloved Bears. Miserable performance stacked on miserable performance, loss upon loss, we had a bad feeling that this team would struggle to get to 0.500 this season. Our Bear Goggles On bloggers predicted all 16 games here before the season started, so we’re on record with our picks.
A season opening 19-14 win against the lowly Lions (and they’ll be referred to as the lowly Lions until they win a road game) hardly inspired any confidence. Then the Bears headed down to Dallas to face a sure road loss against the vaunted Cowboys. But something funny happened on the way to SB XLV, the Bears actually won. They won in impressive fashion. OK, maybe not that impressive, but impressive for the Bears. So who are these 2010 Bears? What is their identity?
Monsters of the Midway
The Bears claimed in training camp that they were bringing back the Monsters of the Midway theme from the Bears team of the 1940′s. I laughed at that notion. Well who’s laughing now? The Bears punched the Cowboys in the mouth. Wide receivers and tight ends were put on notice – if you want to come across the middle you’d better be ready to pay the price.
It’s All About Takeaways
The Bears’ “Bend Don’t Break” defense that carried them to Super Bowl XLI isn’t quite back to full form, but after a couple of games, we see that they will allow some yardage on the underneath stuff but will come up with key takeaways (or timely referee calls) to keep the other team from scoring. It’s still a work in progress and they need to fill some of the holes in their coverage, but they will bend and only slightly break.
No Running Allowed
This theme counts for two. Fist of all, the Bears can’t run the ball. Not even a little bit. If they do, it’s an accident. We new this going into the Mike Martz era and so far through two games, this has proven to be true. The closest you’ll get to a run is a screen pass or Jay Cutler running for his life.
The other side of the coin is the Bears defense won’t let anyone run on them. Period. End of discussion. Don’t even bother.
Expect the Unexpected
Remember the Ron Turner offense? The 2010 Bears offense is just like it… except the opposite. Passing on first down, running back lined up split out wide, 3 tight end sets, this offense is the wildest Bears offense since Sid Luckman “thrilled the nation, with your T-formation” or Gary Crowton’s offense… Never mind. The offense is going to keep you on your toes.
I’m not sure if this Bears team will be any good this season but at least we’re starting to figure out who they are; the Modern Monsters of the Midway!!!