Chicago Sun-Times

Schedule will be tougher, but Bears could be too

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JJ Watt.jpgThe 7-1 Bears beat only one team that currently has a winning record in the first half -- the 5-3 Colts. Their eight first-half opponents have a combined 27-39 record (.409) overall -- 26-32 (.448) excluding their game against the Bears.

On paper, the second half should be more difficult, starting with the Texans (7-1) and defensive end J.J. Watt on Sunday night at Soldier Field and the 49ers (6-2) in San Francisco the following Sunday night. The Bears' eight second-half opponents currently have a combined record of 42-27 (.609).

''We don't look at that at all,'' coach Lovie Smith said. ''It doesn't matter [what the records are]. You look at each opponent as they come in. We played a Carolina team with a bad record [and won 23-22 on a last-second field goal].

''It's just about your play each week, trying to improve. Looking at one play at a time. I know we have the Texans next and I have an idea of some of the other teams we have coming up. But I think we have enough veterans in the [locker] room to stay focused. They know how we do things -- not looking too far [ahead].''

The Bears undoubtedly will be challenged by the Texans and 49ers in the next two weeks. But circumstances change quickly in the NFL. After those two games, four of their final six opponents are currently upstreaming.

The 5-4 Vikings, whom the Bears play on Nov. 25 at Soldier Field and Dec. 9 in Minneapolis, have lost two straight and three of their last four. The Seahawks (5-4) have lost two of their last three games. The Cardinals (4-5) have lost five straight.

The other two opponents are NFC North rivals Green Bay (6-3) and Detroit (4-4). The Packers have won four straight but have injuries that are piling up and will play the Bears at Soldier Field on Dec. 16. The Lions are the ultimate wild-card. They could be finishing like a freight train when they play the Bears in the regular-season finale on Dec. 30 at Ford Field. Or they could be out of the playoff picture and playing for next season.

Regardless of who the Bears have played or who they have to play in the second half, Smith likes where his team is coming off Sunday's 51-20 rout of the Titans that capped the 7-1 first half.

''At the halfway point of the season, to have that type of game -- just picture Soldier Field and we're going in at halftime feeling pretty good about what we've done, knowing we have to play better in the second half,'' he said. ''That's where we are.''

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9 Comments

Bears tougher? No they will get exposed Sundau nighjt. Watt is goijng to abuse Webb like I do Brando and Kevin A. It won't be pretty I know that much is true. All the teams they have beat are the wurst of the wurst loosers in the NFL. The Texans are a real team though and they will win that game against Lovie and ANgelo's Chicago Pretenders.

LOL call me crazy but before the year Dallas and Detroit were listed as playoff teams. Houston is in the weakest division in the league and has played a soft schedule as well. They played GB and got rocked. The Bears played GB and if they made even ONE play on offense they win. Sure sounds to me Houston is the overrated team here. Now go away troll.

OMG did you even try and read that before hitting submit. You expect anyone to take your uneducated post seriously. You can't even spell worst correctly. Besides your 2nd grade spelling level your football knowledge is more laughable. Did you even notice your Texans played the dolphins, jaguars, titans, jets and bills. If you can't that high that's 5 of the haha "wurst loosers" in the NFL. Go back to school champ.

Texans have beat cream puffs too. But I agree. Texans have a good offense and are more complete. Bears will lose

learn how to spell moron.

As I read your comment, I felt my brain cells committing suicide one by one. You are everything wrong with this country: arrogant, lazy, stupid, and utterly without any sense of personal dignity. Loosers? Really? Or let me say this in a way you'll understand.
Big wurds r 2 hard fer me. I ams the bestest in all da wurld.

I sincerely hope you are writing that drunk, and would thusly have some excuse. If not, for the betterment of the species, I beg you, nay, I entreat you. Do not reproduce

I don't believe the comment is from Creighton. Too many errors in both typing and thinking. Besides, anyone watching the Bears this season knows that they figure out ways to win. I think they will do the same against both Huston and San Francisco. Certainly both will be tougher opponents than the Bears have faced so far, with the possible exceptin of Green Bay, who, like the Bears, have managed to win in spite of injuries and not playing their best. Rodgers has carried them the way the defense has carried the Bears. The offense is showing signs of developing into a powerhouse as well, so yes, the Bears are getting tougher.

The Bear offense is going to have a really tough time. Poor line play against a good team could spell disaster. The offense, especially the line, has had tough times against defenses that are nowhere near as good as Houston's, so this is not a bright spot. The defense will have to play another great game for the Bears to win, and even that might not do it. If this offense had just an average line it could be pretty good, but it's pretty hard to make up for not being able to block.

What the Bears absolutely must do is run the ball. A lot. If they don't run at least 30 times I don't see them winning. Running is the only way they're going to take enough pressure off Cutler for him to have a chance, regardless of whether the runs are individually productive. The Bears are going to have a really hard time in pass protection either way, but if they throw a lot, Cutler gets sacked a lot (and probably fumbles and throws interceptions). And please, do NOT start the game with another of these idiotic play action passes, which makes no sense since you haven't established a running game yet.

1. The Bears have very little chance of beating San Francisco. The Whiners have no glaring weaknesses, unlike the Bear offensive line, the game is in San Francisco, and it's a night game v. a west coast team, which means the Bears' body clocks will be starting to tell their bodies to shut down and get ready for bed, while the Whiners' body clocks will not. The last advantage is huge: west coast teams win 70% of night games v. teams from the east, regardless of where they play. The Bears should fly to SF the Monday after the Houston game and stay there the week before the game in order to try to negate the body clock disadvantage, but this organization and coaching staff are so stodgy and conservative that there's little chance they'd do anything different like that.

2. The Bears haven't had any significant injuries, what are you talking about? If the Bears had the level of injuries that Green Bay has, they'd have about two wins. Imagine an offense without Brandon Marshall and a defense without Brian Urlacher and Charles Tillman. That's where Green Bay is with injuries.

3. The only thing the offense is showing signs of is help wanted signs for offensive linemen. Even Gabe Carimi, who looked good in preseason in 2011 and the game + before he got injured, doesn't seem to be able to pass block at an NFL level. The line looks as bad or worse than last season, and that' s saying a lot. The offense has done nothing until the defense starts getting turnovers and scores, and last game was no exception. Cutler said that the offense finally figures out what opponents are doing and is successful late in games, but you can't stink up the field most of the game against good teams and expect to win, no matter how well you play in the 4th quarter. "Developing into a powerhouse"? Man, gimme some of what you're on, I think I'm going to need it for the next couple of games.

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This page contains a single entry by Mark Potash published on November 5, 2012 1:31 PM.

Lovie confident Bears' offense will be there eventually was the previous entry in this blog.

Ex-Bear Danieal Manning thriving -- and so are the Bears is the next entry in this blog.

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