Pyle Ponders

Order your playoff tickets now! I'm serious. I definitely see the Bears dominating the division unless something really bad should happen. Yes, we've all been there before, getting our hopes up only to have them dashed in the next game, but this team is for real. They are going to keep getting better with each outing. Keep watching and you'll become a believer, too.

Sunday's game against the Lions was about as good as things can get. Watching game film had to be a joy for the players up at Halas Hall. And for those of you who recorded the contest at home, this is the kind of an outing that should provide many happy hours of television viewing.

Nothing went wrong, at least as far as the Bears were concerned. The running game was strong. The passing game was great. Special teams had a very impressive performance and the defense was at the top of their form.

I felt that Ron Turner's game plan was effective and made the most of Kyle Orton's budding talent. And Orton himself, what more could you want? He was steady and controlled the pace of the game. That's a veteran performance all the way.

Orton clearly is red hot right now. Just look at how much better he's become in only two outings. Orton's rating was an astounding 103. When was the last time you saw that kind of production from a Chicago QB? His results should speak for themselves.

Much of Orton's success should be credited to Chicago's offensive line. They gave the rookie every possible opportunity for success. Orton had the time he needed to get the ball to the right receiver. Jones had openings for his runs. There were no miscues, no missed blocks, and no panic moves. It was textbook playmaking.

One thing that was a tremendous advantage for Chicago as that the offense was able to sustain drives. They'd go for 7, 8, 9 plays at a time. That kept the ball out of the hands of Detroit's offense and limited their scoring opportunities while at the same time, giving the defense a chance to rest and recover before getting back on the field.

I liked the way the game began with a series of short passes and runs. That gave Orton the time he needed to settle into a rhythm. Then once things got cooking, the offense made progress down after down. No more of the dreaded three and outs for the Bears. They played classic football, holding the ball for more than 33 minutes.

Although the front four didn't have any sacks, Harrington had no time to make good decisions. The Bears were up against an offensive line with a lot of talent but rather than be intimidated, they charged right in there until before long, it was Detroit's o-line that was playing back on their heels. The Bears were blitzing from every position and there was no way that the Lions could execute.

I wrote down positive things that I saw during the game and before long, the list was surprisingly long. In a nutshell, every single Chicago player did something right.

The interceptions and defensive touchdowns were icing on the cake. Those individual efforts gave the offense the breathing room it needed. Nathan Vasher had another big game and came up with two interceptions. He has limitless potential.

So where do the Bears go from here? In my opinion, they are going to build on this success on through the season. Yes, the match-up with the Bengals is potentially tough, but if what we saw yesterday is any indication, there's been a big, and a long overdue, turnaround at Halas Hall. For that we can all be thankful.

Mike Pyle played for the Bears from 1961-69, including a Pro Bowl selection following the '63 season.

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