The Chicago Bears roared onto Soldier Field last Sunday confident that their five-game winning streak, which included an impressive showing at the expense of Michael Vick and the Philadelphia Eagles the week prior, would provide some momentum against what many pundits now consider the team to beat: the New England Patriots.
The Patriots were coming off of a potentially season-defining 45-3 destruction of the New York Jets. There was no momentum to be had—at least for the Bears. In fact their performance, under conditions that many in the Windy City refer to as “Bear weather” (denoting snow, freezing temperatures, and poor field conditions) was akin to, or worse than, what might be expected of the Miami Dolphins or Houston Texans if climate of a team’s home field ever provided an exponential advantage on the scoreboard. In other words, the Bears got their heart torn out from the omnipresent Patriots.
It might have been a cold heart, with temperatures at 26 degrees Fahrenheit coupled with 30 mph winds. The north-easterners were better than the Bears in every aspect of the game, save home field advantage, which for the Bears provided no observable advantage, especially as things began to quickly deteriorate. That sentiment was capitalized in the 2nd quarter, when the Pats put 26 on the board.In the end the Patriots won 36-7, scoring 33 points in the first half, the second most allowed by the Bears in an opening half.The Patriots go to 11-2, after taking the crowd out of the game and efficiently decimating the Bear attack. The Bears fall to 9-4, still leading the NFC North after a Packer loss to the Lions all but solidified their NFC North playoff contention.
We’re closing down to Super Bowl 2011, and with that, it’s time to ask: Who do you have going to the big game?
In the AFC, there are a couple of favorites, including the New England Patriots, who are coming off a 45-3 Monday night thrashing of the Jets. Tom Brady is on another planet right now, and entering this weekend has thrown an unheard of 28 touchdowns and just four interceptions.
Whether the Patriots go to Dallas will be determined in the coming weeks.
As crazy as it sounds, Super Bowl 2011 is coming up fast!