How satisfying is a win like that? Very. It felt really good to say we were going to do something then to go out there and do it exactly as planned. As you progress through the season, each game becomes increasingly more important. And to have what was close to a textbook outing where all aspects of the team were clicking, well that's the best situation of all.
I think we got a little tired of hearing that the Bears were fine against second-rate teams but that we couldn't get it done against playoff caliber team. This was supposedly our ‘true test' to see if we were a legitimate football team. Well, guess what? We passed. We handled the Panthers and had no problems doing it.
The win keeps the momentum we've been building. You want to have as strong a position as possible in your division when going into the final games of a season and we're doing it.
As a season winds down, every game takes on an increased significance. You are playing for more. It's not so much that the national media may be watching you, it's that you are playing for pride. We knew all along this year that we'd be good. Now we have the opportunity to prove it.
I was very satisfied with my own performance. As always I saw things I could have done better and I will make the necessary corrections before we go to Tampa. I had a bunch of friends in town watching me. I think just about any football player will tell you that you tend to play at a little higher level when you know that your buddies are in the stands.
Now we are in preparation for the Tampa game.
Once more we are well rested. We had the day off from practice on Monday, which makes a real difference as far as how we feel for the rest of the week. Practices will be fairly light which is what happens each time we get a win. I'm glad to report that the benches are still out there on the sidelines so players can sit down if necessary. The pads are peeling off and we are definitely taking things at a somewhat decreased pace. Just doing that makes us much fresher for the upcoming game.
Going into Tampa this weekend our attitude is that it is more about what we are able to do than with what our opponent can do. If we play the way we are supposed to play, proper technique and all of that, then nobody is going to beat us. If you look at every game in the NFL, everybody is doing the same stuff. It's all a matter of who does it better.
Brendon Ayanbadejo has agreed to share his observations of life in the National Football League with Bear Report readers. Brendon will be checking in via the website on a weekly basis.