Well for now against a good Miami Dolphins team the Chicago Bears stepped up their game and pitched the shut out against the Miami Dolphins on a warm Thursday night. Overall the Bears played a very good brand of winning football tonight, but still showed just enough to cause some concern. Cutler did face some pressure, J'Marcus Webb was flagged four times for three holding calls and an illegal use of hands to the face and there were four questionable throws that Cutler made. Four balls that could have been picked off under different circumstances that weren't on this night.
This however isn't a night to nit pick it's a night to compliment the overall effort of the offensive line with Matt Forte coming up with nearly 100-yards. Forte's rushing was instrumental in keeping the defense fresh who in turn shut out the Dolphins. This shut out was the first shut out since 2006 and set the tone for a defense that is playing out of it's mind right now.
The Bears are playing good solid football right now...running the football when they need to, and it keeps the defense fresh which in turn makes plays. The offensive line is making more blocks than they are missing blocks right now, which is a 180-degree difference from earlier in the season. That right now it is what is winning football games for the Bears average offensive line play, enough times within the games for the Bears to move their offense down the field.
The defense is getting remarkable pressure from the front four. The Julius Peppers effect is a part of it, but the other part is what we're seeing from guys like Israel Idonije, and Henry Melton who seem to be making plays each and every week. Melton again with a sack tonight and some other plays that really stood out in this game. Melton is playing with a ton of hustle and looking like he has a long strong future ahead of him.
The secondary is making plays, Danieal Manning who? When did this guy become a solid player capable of making a big hit on fourth down to help seal the shut out? Tim Jennings is solid, Charles Tillman and Chris Harris playing well overall there is nothing but solid tackling and effort week in and week out.
The Bears are three wins away from getting to the playoffs and they face a daunting schedule in the weeks ahead. What helps them now is they get nearly a week off before they head back to practice. The Bears may not practice again until Wednesday of next week meaning a veteran squad will get plenty of rest.
How many games can the Bears expect to win now? I think they can win every game in the division they can go into Green Bay and win there. They can play and beat the Jets meaning the two big games are against the Eagles and the Patriots to determine what level of playoff team the Bears can be. It will be interesting to see how these Bears perform because it can make a statement of what type of heart and how far into the playoffs this team can go.