Thursday, December 01, 2005

PUT UP OR SHUT UP TIME FOR BEAR FANS ON THE NORTHSIDEREPORT...

Most of our readers might recall that I predicted before the football season that I thought our Bears might go 8-8. Might, meaning that I thought that would be the best we could hope for. Well here we sit, 11 games into the season and we are 8-3. One need to look no further than my NCAA Tournament Pool picks of the past few seasons to understand my lack of skill in handicapping sports. After all 3 of my 4 Final Four picks did not last through the first weekend last year (Kansas, Georgia Tech, and Syracuse) and 2 didn't even make it out of the first round (Kansas and Syracuse). So my NCAA bracket was pretty much worthless after the first two days of games, unless of course I ran out of toilet paper or something.

Then of course you might remember that I predicted my man, reinging NL MVP Albert Pujols to beat Derrek Lee in all 3 of the Triple Crown stats, so much for that prediction. By the way the pictures of me in the Cub hat have been taken, so don't blame me for them not appearing on the Northsidereport.

One would think, that with my lack of skill in predicting sports I would learn to just shut up. It seems though that I, like the Apostle Peter, have a knack for opening my mouth and inserting my foot. Maybe I should just learn to shut up about predicting sports and just stick to doing what I do best, and that's predicting the sex of newborn babies. It seems I do have a skill ofor doing that since all of my friends and family who were expecting a baby, and to this day I have never guessed wrong. My friend and fellow poster Chris will attest to this ability, since I successfully predicted his latest child to be a boy. Not such a great skill I reckon, since in every case I have a 50-50 shot.

It's difficult for me to not predict the outcome of sports, so when the football season rolled around, I couldn't resist. You might recall I predicted the Bears to start fast with an easy schedule early on and then struggle in the middle and late part of the season. So what actually happened, of course the Bears started out 1-3, so much for the great start. They now, however have won 7 games in a row, so much for struggling in the middle and late part of the season. With all that being said, the Bears could still finish 8-8. Of course in order to do that they would have to lose every game the rest of the season, which would not surprise me one bit, considering this is the Bears we are talking about.

So, what's the point of this post, you ask? Well simply put, since I atleast have the guts to climb out on the limb, I'm challenging my fellow posters and our readers, who might be Bears fans to cowboy up and join me out on the limb, with this question...can the 2005 Bears win the Super Bowl with this team as it stands right now? So if you got a pair of cajones anywhere near as big as the dude Chris posted about that was tazoerd in the groin, and kept fighting, then I'm challenging you to respond to this post and make a prediction, on the record, and we will see just how many Jimmy the Greek's we have here at the Northsidereport.

So since I posted the question, it would only be fair for me to be the first to answer that very question. Can these Bears win the Super Bowl this year?

There are a few things I would like to establish before I predict. First of all, I am from the old school, as I think that the old saying "offense sells tickets, and defense wins championships". It is clear that the best defense in the NFL is our beloved Bears. Heres a few stats to back this up. The Bears rank first in the league in (this is not a typo, I did say first) ...

Total defense
Passing Defense
Scoring Defense
Passing Yards
3rd down efficiency %
Passing Td's
Rushing Td's
Red Zone Defense
Opponent's QB rating

Not too mention we rank second in rushing defense, other than that I am not to familiar with any other defensive statistic, but whatever stat you want to toss out there, I'm sure our Bears are at or near the top. It's clear, we have the best D in the game.

Many people have bashed the Bears offense this season, and rightfully so. They are pretty mediocre and to call them mediocre would be like pooring a gallon of perfume on a big pile of, well I'm sure you get the picture. We have a rookie QB, and no team with a rookie QB has ever managed to get to the Super Bowl, much less win the darn thing. We have no deep threat on offense. Muhsin Muhammad is good, but let's face it he is not exactly a threat to score when he touches the ball. We have no tight ends, atleast none that are worth a squat. What we do have, is a decent offensive line (shockingly) and a decent running game.

Add all this up, is it enough for the Bears to win the Super Bowl. Well recent history of the Super Bowl will say yes. The Baltimore Ravens in 2000, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 2002, and even the New England Patriots in 2001 were all teams with excellent defenses and mediocre offenses. Remember in 2001 the Patriots had Tom Brady, but he was not Tom Brady, NFL MVP, he was just Tom Brady 7th round draft pick from Michigan. Also let's not forget the 1999 Tamp Bay Buccaneers, who had an suffocating defense, but were led by a rookie QB (Shaun King) and a decent running attack (sound familiar) and they were :43 seconds and a Ricky Proehl TD away from the Super Bowl.

Also. let's keep this in mind, the NFC is wide open this year, with no team really standing out as a dominant, unbeatable team. The Bears are in the hunt for not only the playoffs, but atleast a home game in the first round, or a bye week and a home game, heck they are just one game out of having home field advantage, with the Seahawks having to play Indianapolis still, the last game of the season. There is no offense in the NFC that I feel will be able to manage two TD's against our D, especially if we get to play in Soldier Field. One TD might be pushing it at home, knowing that in 6 home games we have given up just 5 TD's, and two of those were to a pretty good offense in Cincinnatti, but only after the offense turning the ball over 5 times on our own end of the field, did they manage to score. So I'm saying it, with this suffocating defense, and Kyle Orton managing the offense, these Bears are going to the Super Bowl.

Wait a minute, you say, the question was not can they get to the Super Bowl, but can they win it. Hang on, I'm not done yet...

It appears to be the Colts year. Peyton Manning and his boys appear to be clicking on all cylinders. An undefeated season is not out of the question, and maybe pretty likely that they will go undefeated. So I am predicting the Bears to match up with an undefeated 18-0, Indianpolis Colts in the Super Bowl. Like I said it appears to be the year for the Colts, and in a match up with the Bears they would probably be a 14-17 point favorite to win. However it appeared to be their year in 1969, and how did that work out for them? So I am predicting Kyle Orton guarantees a victory over the Colts in the week leading up to the game, then backs it up with 3 touchdown passes, and the Bears D with pressure from their 4 defensive lineman pound Peyton Manning into a bloody pulp, which leaves 7 guys back there to shut down the likes or Marvin Harrison and Reggie Wayne, and in the greatest upset since Broadway Joe Namath and the J-E-T-S, Jets, Jets, Jets, the Beras in the 20th Anniversary of the 1985 Bears, shock the world and upset the mighty Colts.

Ok there I said it, hopefully the same curse that plagued Kansas and Syracuse last year (that of ourse is the curse of Randy predicting them to win) will not stop our Beloved Bears. So who here has the cajones enough to join me out on the limb and predict, for the record, what the Bears will do.