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You kind of figured things would go the Bears' way Sunday when Jacksonville quarterback David Garrard threw his first pass into a crowd of four defenders. The ball hit nickel back Danieal Manning in the chest, and the play ultimately led to Chicago building a 7-0 lead less than three minutes into the game.
The Jaguars did not put up much of a fight at Soldier Field, but give the Bears credit for bouncing back from their disappointing loss at Minnesota last week. Most notably, quarterback Kyle Orton produced an encouraging bad-weather performance, completing 62.5 percent of his passes and throwing two touchdowns on a chilly and windy day.
The Bears will need similar outings in their next two games, also at Soldier Field, against New Orleans and Green Bay. Those matchups are two winnable, prime-time games that give the Bears a real chance to pull even with the Vikings in the NFC North.
It could happen as early as this week, with the Bears facing the Saints at home while the Vikings must protect their division lead at Arizona.
Hold on for a wild ride.