Chicago Bears Season Outlook: 3rd Quarter

Brandon-Marshall

With a 4-1 record, it’s been all smiles for the Bears so far. Can they keep it up through the 3rd quarter of games this season?

The Bears have taken full advantage of facing the weakest strength of schedule in team history over the first 5 games of the season. They’ve rode their dominating defense to a 4-1 record and now stand alone at the top of the NFC North after the Minnesota Vikings fell to the Washington Redskins this past weekend.

In my first 2 installments of “Quarter Previews” (1, 2), I correctly predicted the Bears would be 4-1 through the bye week. The next 3 games remaining in the 2nd quarter of the season remain to be seen, but the Lions, Panthers, and Titans aren’t striking much fear in me.

I have the Bears heading into the 3rd quarter with a 7-1 or 6-2 record. In either scenario, 6+ wins will likely be enough to have the NFC North lead at the midway point of the season.

But no matter how good the Bears play over the rest of the first half of the season, the 3rd quarter will prove to be their toughest test. The Houston Texans,San Francisco 49ers, and Seattle Seahawks all rank in the top 6 in the NFL in overall defense, and the Viking’s Adrian Peterson loves to feast on the Bears.

But with 3 of these 4 games coming at home, I think the Bears have a few tricks up their sleeve that may lead to a surprise in the standings when the 3rd quarter is said and done.

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San Francisco 49ers vs. Green Bay Packers: Brutally Honest Preview

The start of the NFL season can’t get any better for fans of the Green Bay Packers or San Francisco 49ers. It’s the league’s premier offense (Green Bay, 35.0 points per game in 2011) up against the league’s premier defense (San Francisco, 14.3 points per game given up in 2011).

At Lambeau Field, the Packers have won their last eight games against the 49ers, can they make it nine straight?

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49ers Jim Harbaugh: Already Coach of the Year in the NFL

Everything has seemed to come up roses for the San Francisco 49ers this season, and more specifically Jim Harbaugh. He was able to leapfrog to the NFL and not even have to relocate from the metropolitan area where he coached college. His squad had minimal expectations coming into the season and now it looks like the second best group in the NFC.

Offense sells tickets and defense wins championships. If this adage holds true, it seems like San Francisco is on the right side of the spectrum and the Green Bay Packers better start making some adjustments. The 49ers have allowed just under fifteen points per contest. That is phenomenal considering that we are talking about the half of the schedule with the better weather. Defensive tackle Justin Smith and linebacker Patrick Willis are consistent performers for San Francisco. Their quality play has catapulted the unit into one of the elite groups in the entire league.

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