Styf: Bears still look like 10-win team
Relax. Take a breath.
And look at the schedule.
St. Louis and Jacksonville sandwich a Monday night game at Dallas over the next three.
Which means it's not time to panic about the Bears, the offensive line and Brian Urlacher's lack of mobility.
Heading into the Week 6 bye, this will be a three- or four-win team in great position to make a run.
Urlacher will be (more) healthy, Jonathan Scott will be ready to play in some capacity at tackle, Matt Forte will be over whatever ails his ankle, and the ugliness of Thursday night's loss at Lambeau Field will have worn off.
The reality is that this, along with Week 11 at San Francisco, are the two toughest games on the schedule. The two games you hope to stay in and give yourself a shot at the end.
When you don't, and lose, you wipe off the pout and move on.
This is a good Bears team, and all the reasons you had to be optimistic between Sunday and Thursday afternoon still hold true, for the most part.
I get it, this one hurts. It's the Packers, and you simply don't like them, their Lambeau leaps, their cheese curds or anything that goes along with those jolly people to the north who dance to weird polkas and prefer hunter orange to their own team's colors.
They barely made the playoffs with 10 wins after a 10-3 victory over the Bears in the final game of the 2010 season and somehow stole a Super Bowl out of it.
That's the kind of team the Bears can be. Win 10 games, get hot at the right time and make a run.
The Giants did it with nine wins last year. And since trends come in threes, one more time would make it a blueprint.
There were certainly causes for concern Thursday night, like the play of the offensive line and the defense up the middle. But for every negative, there's a Tim Jennings and Michael Bush, two guys proving their worth more and more each week.
Teams have won with bad offensive lines before and will do it again. Jay Cutler will just have to learn to work with it rather than fight it.
Quicker releases, throwing it away from time to time and simply dumping it off more instead of going for it all all the time would be a step in the right direction.
But that's not who Cutler is. He's a fiery risk-taker, and that's why 10 wins seems about right.
And also why this team could get rolling and be tough to stop.
Just don't fret yet. It's a long season and the Bears have plenty of better football yet to play.
• Northwest Herald sports editor Jon Styf can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @JonStyf.