Bears Pummel Tennessee – Shift Focus On Houston

Charles Tillman made a strong case for NFL Defensive MVP yesterday.  His 4 forced fumbles led the Bears to pulverize the Titans in a game that was over by the end of the first quarter with the Bears leading 28-2.  It looked like a really good high school team was beating up on a really bad one. Chris Johnson had an 80-yard run and Matt Hassleback made a nice throw to Nate Washington between two defenders, but other than that it was tough to watch even if you were a Bears fan. The Bears did what a championship team is supposed to do to a team it is expected to beat.  After last week’s Carolina debacle when Robbie Gould saved the team from a scarily lackluster performance, the Bears suffered no letdown against the Titans and it appeared that the the focus was 100% on the task at hand.  Only now can the Bears look ahead to Sunday night and Houston.

The 7-1 Bears are entering a more challenging phase of the season.  The competition gets much stiffer after playing teams with a combined record of 26-39.  Now Chicago gets to show what kind of a team they are in front of the whole country on Sunday Night Football, when Houston comes to town with the same 7-1 record and a defense that is just as fierce as the Monsters of the Midway.  The Bears’ offensive line, which hopefully cannot get worse, will have its hands full with another NFL Defensive MVP candidate in J.J. Watt, who has been amazing since coming entering the league from Wisconsin 2 years ago.

This is the type of game you want to spotlight.  Both teams are extremely good on defense, with Chicago a bit better. Houston’s offense is a lot better than Chicago’s, which might be offset by Chicago’s home field advantage.  In any event, the game shouldn’t disappoint anyone’s expectations.  Houston would’ve been a decent favorite if the game were played at Reliant Stadium, but playing in the cold outdoors in front of a raucous crowd should bring the game’s line down to a pick em’ by kickoff. And with 2 teams meeting at this stage of the season with the same winning record…well, this is going to put Lovie Smith in the entertaining position of trying to preach underdog status to Chicagoans who will have none of it.  But this much is true:  the game will be a measuring stick by which the Bears’ prospects are judged.