Bears Are More Than Just Lucky

I’m sick and tired of hearing how the Chicago Bears are just lucky.  Any time this team wins a game, the national media are right there for ya, telling you how lucky the Bears were to win the game, like some galactic forces are willing them to victory.  From Calvin Johnson’s “process of the catch” non-TD in Week 1 to the blizzard that wasn’t capping a Round 1 BYE thanks to the Eagles loss to the Vikings, everyone has a reason why not to believe that the 2010 Bears are for real.  The latest is Yahoo! Sports’ Les Carpenter:

Carpenter takes aim at the Jets and Rex Ryan letting a 7 minute, 14 second lapse in judgment – in which the Bears scored 21 of their 38 points – as the latest lucky break for the Bears.

Against the Jets, the Bears scored plenty points of their own. Twenty-one of them came in a 7:14 time period in the third quarter when New York and the new clown prince of football, Rex Ryan, essentially handed Chicago the game. This was after Ryan thought a fake punt on his own 40-yard line at the start of the second half would be a fine idea. And right after Ryan’s assistants apparently let punter Steve Weatherford(notes) boot the ball to Hester who set up a touchdown with a 38-yard return, which was right before the kickoff went Hester’s way and he pumped his fist.

Without that 7:14 of Rex Ryan being Rex Ryan, Chicago likely loses this game and with it, much hope of getting that first-round bye. And that should worry many about these Bears.

Without this or because of that the Bears lose.  Seriously, every time someone has a reason why the Bears won.  How about because on that particular Sunday, they were just plain better that Rex Ryan’s Jets.  I’m sorry, did Matt Forte gain all 113 yards on the ground in that 7:14 lapse in Ryan’s sanity?  In that 7:14, wasn’t the Jets’ defense on the field?  Last I checked, the Bears still had to execute to score those 21 points.

A wise man once said that luck is when preparation meets opportunity.   The Jets game turned on a fake punt that the Bears sniffed out and stopped.  That’s not lucky.  That’s preparation.  The Bears have been given opportunities all season long.  The difference between this team and many others is that for the most part, they’ve taken advantage of the opportunities when they come up.

Couldn’t you say that the Eagles had an opportunity on Tuesday night, facing a rookie quarterback and a depleted Vikings team on their home field after keeping them hunkered down in a hotel for 48 extra hours, away from the comforts of home?  What did the Eagles do with that opportunity?  Absolutely nothing and as a result, the Bears have earned a first round bye.

Even with the parity of today’s NFL, a team doesn’t get to an 11-4 record on pure luck.  They have to seize the opportunities that are presented and win games.  These aren’t the Rams or Seahawks who might scratch their way in with an 8-8 record.

I am not getting over-confident about these 2010 Bears; their flaws are well known.   The Bears have been wildly inconsistent, especially up front on offense.  Jay Cutler still has a tendency to throw the ball in the way of the other team far too often.  Lovie Smith’s Cover-2 has holes all over that even decent quarterbacks can exploit.  If the Bears go out in the Division Round and lay an egg on their home turf, it won’t be because they’re suddenly unlucky, it will be because they didn’t play their game.  It will be because they’re unprepared.  It will be because they didn’t seize the opportunity.

BEAR DOWN!!!

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  • Sam Solarz

    Good read as always.

  • N8

    another great post!! I’m right there on the boat with you as the hater sharks swim circles. While it’s aggravating that we don’t get any love. I look from the standpoint that a win is a win and as far as I can see, we are one of 4 elite teams in the NFL right now. Those being the Pats, Falcons, and Saints. The Bears are basically becoming the team America loves to hate this year just because we are playing to the potential that all of us Bears fans knew we could and the rest of the world didn’t. I just pray that we do show up in round 2 because it’s going to take nothing but perfection from here on out in order to bring home the Lombardi.

  • Phil

    Amen Boomer. I guess the Eagles have bad luck. Along with the Lions and so many other teams. Too bad!

  • Mr. Pickles

    Crazy, there’s actually a similar article posted on ESPN insider right now. I’ll preface that I can’t possibly imagine what ESPN would publish that I would actually want to pay money for so I only got to read the first three or so paragraphs and may have the jist wrong. At any rate the point where it cuts off it was about to examine the Bears INTs and why luck has been a huge factor and I assume they would make the argument that many have been lucky pics because they were tipped first. On the surface that looks like a great argument; however, you’re completely discounting the skill involved with linemen getting up and getting a hand on the ball as well as DBs being in position to make a play and maintaining the concentration to come down with a tipped ball. Sure the ball has to take a favorable path so that the D can make a play but playoff caliber teams make the play, which the Bears have done consistently and a lot of other teams have not.

  • http://www.kifu.hu vandeminek

    Good thoughts! BEAR DOWN from Hungary!

  • Jasper

    Look, I’m a Chicagoan and agree that the talk of the Bears being lucky is a bit carried away, and the espn.com article (I am an insider and read the whole thing) is terrible. But of course the Bears have been lucky – at least lucky to get the 2nd seed in the NFC. Just compare where they are vis a vis the Packers. The Packers have statistically the 8th best total offense and 9th best total defense. San Diego and New Orleans are the only two other teams with that kind of balance. They have a point differential of +141, which is second in the NFL. And yet they might not even make the playoffs! By contrast, the Bears have a truly awful 28th best total offense (third to last in the entire league) and only the 10th best total defense. Their point differential is +55, which is 10th in the NFL and good enough for only 5th in the NFC.

    But again, the Bears will have the two seed and a first-round playoff bye. You don’t need to get into a game-by-game breakdown to surmise that the Bears probably got where they are by catching just a couple breaks, here and there. Then again, you could do that, and point out that they should have lost to Detroit and Buffalo, that they played Minnesota for the second time in incredibly advantageous circumstances, that they played Miami when Miami had no quarterback, and that they very easily could have lost to Green Bay and the Jets.

    • Thtone

      But they didn’t lose to GB or the Jets Jasper…Or Detroit or Buffalo…

      The Jets had an easy schedule this year and so did Atlanta, but yes, even in our own town, there are the haters….

    • Thtone

      Forgot to add that no one says the Jets or Atlanta are lucky. Just the Bears because they are the only team who ever caught a break or two in the NFL, ever…. It’s Laughable.

    • deez

      Luck is such a subjective word. The Bears just played their schedule and won games. They took advantage of the opportunities that they had. There are plenty of teams they didn’t take advantage of their opportunities and no one says that they were unlucky, they just say that that aren’t a good football team. Look at Houston, how many times did they come back in games and then lose? No one says they were unlucky, they just say they played poorly.

      I hate the word luck, you make the most of what you are given. One call or one play doesn’t win a game for you. It’s what you did before and what you do after that makes a team a winner.

  • Cheesehead

    I understand why you’re sick of hearing it… when there is an unfortunate truth you’d like to forget, it seems that theres always something out there to remind you of it.