Rodney Dangerfield used to adjust his tie and say, “I get no respect.”
The Chicago Bears could adjust their helmets and offer the same observation.
Has anybody noticed that the Bears have won four of their five games including a win last week over Tom Brady and his Tampa Bay Buccaneers?
Because the public loves offense, and the Bears are doing it from the defensive side of the ball. For me, it is reminiscent of the 2000 Baltimore Ravens. That Ravens team also won four of their first five games without much fanfare, in fact, five of their first six games.
For good reason the Ravens were discounted by the wagering public. They were having quarterback problems that forced them to make a mid-season switch from starter Tony Banks to backup Trent Dilfer. The move, by head coach Brian Billick, was not so much because he thought the longtime veteran quarterback would be the key to winning, but more importantly not the reason for losing.
Banks was clouding the Ravens defensive strength with turnovers and mistakes that put even one of the best defenses in the history of the league behind the eight-ball in attempting to win. After the Ravens won five of their first six games, without much fanfare, they lost three straight October meetings while never cracking double-digits offensively. During that losing streak, the defense never allowed more than 14 points.
When Dilford stepped in, he played mistake free ball and the defense often outscored opponents offenses all on their own. Baltimore never lost another game after Halloween, but were still underdogs in two of their AFC postseason games against the Tennessee Titans and Oakland Raiders, and only a 3 point favorite in Super Bowl XXXV, which they won 34-7 over the New York Giants.
Are the Bears on a similar path?
They too had quarterback problems and turned to a veteran backup to eliminate costly turnovers and allow Chicago’s defense the best chance of carving out victories. They made the change after opening day starter Mitch Trubisky tossed a pick-six to a wide open Atlanta Falcons defender. On came Nick Foles, who runs hot and cold, and the one-time Super Bowl Most Valuable Player led a furious second half comeback in Atlanta that earned the Bears a road win.
Will this parallel history shared with the Super Bowl Champion Ravens lead to a title for the Bears?
But, is it good enough to beat a Carolina Panthers team that is riding a three game winning streak since their star offensive player, Christian McCafferty, went down with an injury?
Qoxhi Picks: Chicago Bears (+2½) over Carolina Panthers