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Bears Pound Packers

By Benjy Lipsman in News on Dec 5, 2005 5:32PM

2005_11_sports_bears_week13_vasher.jpgChicagoist's prediction for the Bears - Packers game was pretty spot on, as the defense lead the way to a 19-7 victory.

Friday, we predicted

[T]he Bears defense renders Favre ineffective, picking off a couple and running one back for a TD. The offense adds another 13 or so, so we're going to say Bears win 20-3.

Was Favre ineffective? While he did complete 31 of 58 passes for 277 yards, he failed to throw a single TD pass against the Bears for the first time ever in 27 career meetings. He also fumbled twice after taking hits from the Bears defense. The lone packers score came on a short 42-yard drive following a Bears fumble.

Did the Bears pick off a couple? Yeah, they sure did! Nearing the end of the second quarter, Charles Tillman intercepted Favre in the end zone and ran it back 96 yards. That set up a Bears field goal, giving them a 9-7 lead at halftime. In the 4th quarter, Nathan Vasher intercepted a pass and ran it back 45 yards for a TD (we told you they'd score one!) which sealed the victory for the Bears.

The Bears offense was pretty anemic once again, scoring 12 points on 4 Robbie Gould field goals (so we were a point off). But those were enough thanks to the defense.

The lack of offense has not been a problem for the Bears to this point, as they've now won 8 games in a row. But can they continue to succeed without more offense as they enter the playoffs?

This brings up the dilemma concerning who should be their QB -- Orton or Grossman? All along, Chicagoist has been behind Orton. We wanted to see him get his shot and we still think he can develop into a good NFL QB -- maybe even the Bears starter for years to come. But he's also started 13 NFL games now and is still bringing up the rear in QB rating. The Bears' 16.8 points/game are 24th in the NFL. Could putting Grossman on the field, if he's healthy enough, spark a little more offense? It's not like Orton was subbing for a Peyton Manning or Tom Brady. Grossman's pretty unproven as well. But could even a couple more points a game mean the difference between bowing out of the playoffs early and an actual shot at playing in Super Bowl XL?

Before you say, "Oh, they're not making the Super Bowl..." take a look at the NFC playoff picture. If Seattle loses tonight, the Bears become the #1 seed in the NFC. Even with a Seahawks win, they're still looking at a first round bye should things remain as they are now. They beaten Tampa, they've beaten Carolina. So they can hold their own against the other likely playoff teams. The Bears coaching staff has said that this is Orton's team, but if a Super Bowl become a real possibility, shouldn't putting the absolute best team on the field win out over loyalty? And how does the coaching staff determing which QB will help the team the most?

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