Bears serve notice with shutout win against Dolphins

Written by Chris Kolb

Topics: Chicago Bears, NFC North

AP Photo/Lynne Sladky

Throughout much of the season, the Bears have had to listen to more than their fair share of criticism, even while they continued to stay at or near the top of the NFC North division. The main issue that those critics have raised was that Chicago really hadn’t done much on the road against talented teams, making their winning record somewhat of a fluke, and their team a likely candidate for a late season crash.

But after physically dominating the Dolphins earlier tonight in Miami, the Bears are sitting pretty at the top of the heap in their division with a 7-3 record. Whether they actually end up making the playoffs or not is still up in the air, but if they can continue to play defense the way they did tonight, there’s little doubt that Chicago will be a formidable opponent down the stretch run into the post-season for any team in the league.

Their only glaring issue right now is Jay Cutler’s continued propensity for turning the ball over, which has to be concerning, especially when the Bears go up against offenses that will make them pay for those mistakes. That said, the Bears running game and defense have continued to bail him out, dominating time of possession and keeping opponents out of the end zone.

Chicago’s schedule through the remainder of the year won’t be easy either, as they have home games with the Eagles, Patriots, and Jets, to go with road contests against their two biggest rivals in the Packers and Vikings.

If they can run that gauntlet and emerge relatively unscathed, look for them to make some serious noise in the playoffs, saving head coach Lovie Smith’s job in the process. If not, expect fireworks in Chicago to start the off-season, as it’s difficult to imagine Smith hanging on to his position without a trip to the post-season, given all the money and draft picks spent to acquire talent in recent years.

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