The Bears improved to 2-0 this week with a last-minute win against the Minnesota Vikings. Hub Arkush and Tom Musick discuss:
Musick: Hub, I have been busy crunching some numbers. By my calculations, the Bears will finish 16-0. Matt Forte will catch 120 passes. Martellus Bennett will score 24 touchdowns. And – this statistic might be the craziest of all – Jay Cutler will be sacked eight times. Not a bad season, huh?
Arkush: Yes sir, Mr. Musick. I suspect they’d take it. But you forget, using your metrics, Cutler will throw 24 Interceptions and have eight fumbles returned for touchdowns, Julius Peppers will have eight tackles all season, no sacks and nary a QB hurry. In fact, the entire defensive line will have only 16 sacks, which will approach an NFL record for futility in the pass rush, and the Bears will have only three receivers and one tight end catch passes all season long. I hate being the glass-half-empty guy.
Musick: Aww, man, you totally rained on my parade. It was going to be a great parade, too. I had my lawn chair set up and everything. But now I feel kind of goofy proclaiming that Devin Hester should be the comeback player of the year or that Tony Fiammetta should be the anonymous fullback of the year. I feel depressed, almost as if I drove all the way down the field, only to throw an interception in the end zone.
Arkush: Gee Tom, now that you mention it, Cutler threw one of those – drove them down the field before throwing the pinball pick to Kevin Williams – against the Vikes, too, so maybe we get eight of those this year? But c’mon man, you know I’m just funnin’ with you. There’s no way our final image of the 2013 Bears will be anywhere near as record-setting, over-the-top great as you paint it, or as stinky as my picture sounds. The real bottom line here is what have we seen so far we can trust, and what might just be beginners’ luck?
Musick: Is beginners’ luck related to Andrew Luck? Are they cousins or something? Anyway, I really do think that luck (not Andrew, the other one) has a lot to do with the Bears’ 2-0 start. I mean, if the Cincinnati Bengals had any sort of discipline, they beat the Bears in Week 1. And if the Vikings play better defense for 10 more seconds, they beat the Bears in Week 2. Next up on the Bears’ schedule is the winless, injury-riddled Pittsburgh Steelers, who just so happen to look like a mediocre middle school team. Sounds like luck is going to stick around.
Arkush: Yeah, I don’t know. I’ll give you luck – beginners, not Andrew – against the Bengals, although the Bears still had to make the plays to win. But I’d argue they had as much bad luck as good against the Vikings. After all, if they don’t give Minnesota a 105-yard kickoff return touchdown and a 61-yard fumble return TD, they win that one going away. I do think we can start to form some conclusions after Sunday night, though. After what we’ve seen of the Steelers so far, if the Bears are a good football team, they need to win this one handily. I’d love to find out the glass is half full. But if they struggle at the big ketchup bottle in Pittsburgh, we might have to rethink this whole thing.
Musick: First road trip of the season. Let’s see if the Bears can cut the mustard.