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Monday, October 6, 2008
Chicago Bears: Three answers, one question

By Kevin Seifert
ESPN.com

Posted by ESPN.com's Kevin Seifert

After the Bears' 34-7 victory at Detroit, here are three (mostly) indisputable facts I feel relatively sure about:

1. The Bears can't be defended one-dimensionally at this point. Opponents might have entered the season dubious about the Bears' passing game, but quarterback Kyle Orton and his crew of low-profile receivers have shown they can move the ball through the air. Orton threw for 334 yards against the Lions and has seven touchdown passes in the last three games. Those totals that will force defenses to respect their aerial threat. That accomplishment will only help open lanes for rookie tailback Matt Forte.

2. Coach Lovie Smith will be facing a pleasant but unexpected decision in a few weeks. Rookie offensive lineman Chris Williams is close to returning after recovering from back surgery. Williams was originally expected to start at left tackle, but since his injury veteran John St. Clair has filled in well. Smith could conceivably disrupt chemistry and karma by inserting Williams into the lineup, even if it's on a rotating basis.

3. Defensive tackle Tommie Harris should be properly motivated after a one-game suspension. He expressed some dissatisfaction last week with the punishment, but Harris has since spoken with general manager Jerry Angelo and there is every expectation his play will improve upon rejoining the team Monday. One thing is for certain: It has nowhere to go but up.

And here's one question I'm still asking:

Will the Bears continue to handle prosperity well? They were overly jubilant after a season-opening victory at Indianapolis and promptly lost two consecutive games. The team's veteran nucleus is doing a better job of expressing humility since then, but the "no-one-expected-us-to-be-good" theme is still simmering under the surface.