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Wednesday, October 13, 2010
Have at It: Are the Chicago Bears for real?

By Kevin Seifert

The majority of questions I'm getting these days focus on three topics:
  1. "Did he do it?"
  2. "Why are NFL players allowed to head-butt Aaron Rodgers?"
  3. "Are the Chicago Bears for real?"

On the first question: I don't know. On the second: We'll get to that later this week. That leaves the third for "Have at It."

The facts are clear. The Bears are one of a pair of 4-1 teams in the NFC. Their defense has been dominant and their special teams good enough to rank No. 7 overall in Football Outsiders' weekly evaluations. The Green Bay Packers' injury problems, and the combined 2-7 start by the Minnesota Vikings and Detroit Lions, have given the Bears early control of the NFC North.

They've had some ugly wins and a brutal defeat, however. It's fair to at least debate whether those circumstances suggest a looming collapse, or whether it means this team has demonstrated an ability to win in imperfect environments.

I've provided a snapshot of the context of their offensive and defensive performances relative to the entire NFL. The numbers in the chart speak for themselves, I think.

I know we debated a similar topic last month, but added evidence suggests a revision and update. As always, give me your thoughts in the comment section below. I'll publish a representative sample of your thoughts, along with my own, by the end of the week. Have at It.