This day had a very 2001 feel to it. Not just because this Sunday marked the 10th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks, and it means lots of red, white, and blue football equipment on display, but because it was reminiscent of the Chicago Bears 2001 NFC Central Division title campaign.
-Granted that team was more fluky, smoke-and-mirrors, wing-and-a-prayer, and this team has a lot more talent and substance. But both Bears teams won with defensive touchdowns.
-Brian Urlacher always seems to play special versus Atlanta. Today he had 7 tackles, an INT which set up the first touchdown, and a fumble recovery for a TD. Remember his big returns for TDs in the 2001 early season game at Atlanta? That was the contest which announced to the NFL that the Bears had a great defense and were going to win games that season with touchdowns on D.
-Today is the perfect day for unabashed, unapologetic jingoism. U-S-A U-S-A! Loved Jim Cornelison’s (the famous Blackhawks Star-Spangled banner guy) national anthem.
-Despite the outcome, I’m still picking the NFC NASCAR Division Champ and the NFC Champ to be the Atlanta Falcons. Yes they looked like crap today, but I said before last season they’d make the Super Bowl in 2011. They seemed to be a year ahead of schedule. A #1 seed, and a record nine Pro Bowlers in 2010. Add Ray Edwards, Julio Jones and Kelvin Hayden to that team and the NFC is there’s for the taking.
Here are the rest of my NFL season predictions
-Jay Cutler went 22/31 for 312, 2 TDs, 1 INT: very solid, even though he missed Kellen Davis for a wide open TD in the first half. Re: Cutler need to quote Stewie from Family Guy “but you were my douche Brian, MY douche.” It’s weird because I find Cutler so douchey he’s likable vs. the Bears franchise/organization which is so douchey it’s unlikable.
-Roy Williams left the game with a groin injury. Insert your own low brow, lowest common denominator joke here
Paul M. Banks is CEO of The Sports Bank.net, an official Google News site that generates millions of unique visitors. He’s also a regular contributor to Chicago Now, Walter Football.com, Yardbarker, and Fox Sports
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