After Week 1, the offense was fixed.
After Week 2, everything was wrong.
It’s been a roller coaster, but it didn’t have to be.
The Bears beat most of the bad teams on their schedule and have lost to the good one.
They’re a 10-win team. I wrote it the day of the Packers’ loss. And I’m sticking with it.
They’ll win two out of three.
They’ll make the playoffs, go on the road, and likely lose.
Then, those already calling for Lovie Smith to get fired can do it all again.
The problem is, this is a flawed Bears team. Fans got their hopes up when the team was sitting at 7-1. And they’re upset that the team has been 1-4 since.
But this is who they are. And it’s not Lovie’s fault.
They are a team with a great defense, one of the best receivers in football, an admittedly misused running back, a bad offensive line and a quarterback who waivers between mediocre and good.
He can make all the throws, but he can also make a lot of mistakes. With the right surroundings, he could even be great. But he’ll never be elite.
He’s not Tom Brady or Peyton Manning and he doesn’t have the promise of an RGIII or Andrew Luck.
That just isn’t who he is.
Bears fans should be happy that this team, warts and all, is in a good position to be in the playoffs. Instead, they’re talking about how the coach should be fired.
I get it if they miss the playoffs, fall flat on their faces and lose to Arizona and Detroit. I don’t get it if they win those games and make it.
This simply isn’t that great of a team.
And any team that makes it has a shot. Just ask the New York Giants or Packers, both teams that recently snuck into the playoffs and brought home titles.
This week is especially interesting because, despite the Week 2 result (23-10 Packers), this is also a very flawed Packers team.
They keep sneaking by and getting wins, but they are nowhere near the force that went 15-1 last season before getting picked off in the playoffs by the Giants.
This Packers team is primed to be picked off again, and this might be just the week that happens.
They’re hurting on the offensive line, just like the Bears. They have a weak rushing attack. And their passing targets – outside of Randall Cobb – have been inconsistent at best.
Greg Jennings has been hurt and clearly isn’t fully recovered. Jordy Nelson probably won’t play. Jermichael Finley will never be the tight end he thinks he is. And James Jones is probably past the part of the season where he was playing over his head.
The defense, especially missing Clay Matthews, hasn’t been that great either.
It’s amazing they are where they are in the standings, much of which is directly related to Aaron Rodgers.
The pick: The Bears have a good enough defense that this is a very winnable game. A game that could quickly change people’s mind about Lovie, as crazy as that is.
Bears 24, Packers 21
• Write to Northwest Herald sports editor Jon Styf at firstname.lastname@example.org.