False hope

Despite a two-game winning streak one can make a case that the Bears aren't any better than when they were 1-5. Should players even be thinking playoffs before the team has beaten a team with a winning record?

The Bears three victories have come against arguably the three worst teams in football in Oakland, Detroit and San Diego.

The Chargers have just one victory and after seeing Drew Brees in action they should look for another quarterback of the future.

The Lions are supposed to be in a rebuilding process, but are one of the oldest team's in the NFL. They have lost 20 straight road games and stand at 2-6 with one of their wins coming against the Raiders.

No team in recent memory has fallen as quickly as the Raiders. Stuck with several high priced veterans with little left in the tank, Oakland is clearly on the downslide.

If the Bears didn't beat the Lions and Chargers fans would have been ready to boycott the new Soldier Field for the rest of the season. The Bears now stand at 3-5 and there are still seven teams ahead of them for the NFC wildcard and two other teams tied with Chicago.

While the offense has played better since Chris Chandler was inserted in the starting lineup in Week 7 the unit has scored 17, 24, and 20 points. Jerry Azumah's 89-yard kickoff return accounted for one touchdown, meaning the offense has scored two touchdowns in all three of Chandler's starts, but has settled for field goals six separate times.

The offensive line has been intact for the past six games. The ground game has improved because of the consistency of their run blocking. Anthony Thomas has gone over 100 yards in three of his last four starts and had 96 yards in the only game he didn't hit the century mark.

Rookies on both side of the ball are contributing and that is the only positive that can really be taken from a brief two-game winning streak. On the other hand the most important rookie is still a non-factor. Rex Grossman is on the bench with no immediate plans to get him on the field.

The defense came up with a stop to finish out the Chargers. The problem is that it didn't come until the eight game of the year. All too often the Bears stayed in a game only to see the defense give up a sustained drive to an opponent.

The Bears are 3-1 at the new Soldier Field and look to have a distinct home field advantage for the first time in their history.

There is a good chance that the Bears will get their first road victory in 11 games as they travel to Detroit to face the Lions for the second time in three weeks.

A victory would improve their record to 4-5 and could make believers out of some, but the true test for this squad will come the following week when they host the Rams. Then travel to Denver who will have a healthy Jake Plummer back in the lineup.

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