As the saying goes, what a difference a day makes. Twenty four hours ago, it's safe to say that the vast majority of informed football enthusiasts didn't expect the Bears to win, much less dominate the Colts 29-13 in a game that was pretty much in the books by the middle of the third quarter. It's safe to say, however, that I was a bit more optimistic than the average football enthusiast with my 32-24 prediction yesterday.
But even I didn't expect the Bears' defense to fare as well as it did against a Manning-led Colts offense. As Danimal pointed out in a comment on yesterday's Bears Brightside, "Well, you got the bears offense right, but why give them so little credit on defense?" Well put for a man who claims to be half-Dan, half-animal.
Just so we never forget the haters, here's a look back at some of the Tribster's Bears-related headlines from before last night's big victory over the Indianapolis Colts:
Rick Morrissey: No cause for optimism with Bears
Mike Downey: Bears unlikely to surprise in 2008
The closest the Tribsters came to anything resembling accuracy in the days leading up to yesterday's victory came from David Haugh:
5 ways Orton can succeed in the Bears' offense
Note to Colts: We're not in 2006 anymore -- subtitled 'Injuries to Colts' offensive line, Manning's lack of practice present opportunity for upset'
And here are some of the headlines following the Bears' victor (Note that none are titled 'I was wrong; Kevin was right':
Forte shines in debut as Bears stun Colts
Pretty good as openers go
Rick Telander: Backfield bonanza
Couch: A re-defining moment
Mike "Bears unlikely to surprise" Downey: Showtime for Bears
David Haugh: Bears gushing in Lucas Oil opener
So what can we take from the Bears' opener? Are they 'back' in that pessimistic way that Midway Monster doubters try to crawl secretly back onto the Bears bandwagon?
That would indicate that the Bears went somewhere in the first place. Expect the doubters to question whether this week was a fluke and hearken the Bears' playoff loss to the Panthers to end the 2005 season as an indicator of how the team might perform next Sunday.
Jake Delhomme and the Panthers hung on by their fingernails to 'Shock the Chargers' yesterday. They're battered. They're not as deep as the Bears. This team's in good shape. This city's in good shape. Get excited, Chicago. We're better than they thought and at least as good as I think.