Bear Report Rant: Another Win Could Go a Long Way

Not to get too far ahead, but if the Bears are able to beat the Bengals on Sunday, there could be many more victories to follow.

The Bears have not been above .500 since Week 3 of 2002. A 2-0 start ended with the team losing 12 of their last 14 games. Playing home games in Champaign heightened an injury filled campaign.

There is an era of confidence in Halas Hall that has not been evident since 2001. Another victory would send the Bears into the bye in sole possession of first place in a weak NFC North with four winnable games following the break against teams with serious offensive shortcomings.

  • The Browns, in Cleveland on Oct. 9, were No. 27 in points last season and 28th in yards.

  • The Vikings' offense minus Randy Moss has scored 14 points in two games. That game is at Soldier Field, where the Bears have won the last two in the series, allowing a total of 24 points.

  • The Bears are home again the following week against the Ravens and offensive "genius" Brian Billick, whose team has scored 17 points this season.

  • The next week the Bears get another crack at the Lions. Unfortunately for them, Joey Harrington might not be their starting quarterback anymore.

    November will open with a trip to Baton Rouge, Louisiana to face the road weary Saints, who have been displaced by Hurricane Katrina. Their hectic schedule is understandably starting to wear on them and will likely only increase as the season progresses.

    The Bears will then host the 49ers. San Francisco could be out of the NFC West race by Week 10 and ready to play top draft pick QB Alex Smith.

    Difficult games against the Carolina Panthers and at an improved Tampa Bay Buccaneers squad will close out the month.

    Just two weeks ago, matchups against Green Bay, Pittsburgh, Atlanta, Green Bay and Minnesota to close the season appeared to leave no room for error down the stretch. While the Steelers and Falcons are likely to be playing deep into January, the Packers and Vikings are off to 0-2 starts.

    Although players are taught never to look ahead, a win over the Bengals could be a springboard for the Bears to take command of the division. Shutting down the NFL's hottest offense will not be easy, but it would be a defining moment.

    Bouncing back from a 9-7 loss against Washington with a dominating 38-6 blowout of the Lions proved something about the Bears character. Following it up with a win over the suddenly media darling Bengals would take it to another level and put the rest of the league on notice.

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