By Wanda Wiedman // @WandaW63
Right now the Chicago Bears lead the NFC North with a 5-3 record. But there are a lot of similarities to the 2006 season that cannot be ignored, or at least are worth a look at.
Some of these interesting facts can give Bears fans hope of a better record to end the season. Obviously, it is contingent on how well the Bears prepare, respond, and attack their opportunities and opponents.
With that being said, let’s look at the facts, which can be verified at pro-football-reference.com.
- In the first nine weeks of the 2006 season, the Bears were 7-1, losing to the Miami Dolphins. However, in those nine weeks, the Bears scored a total of 234 points. As of now, the Bears have scored 235 total points! That is including the three losses that the Bears decided to get out of the way. In 2006 the Bears reached a record of 5 wins against the Buffalo Bills winning 40-7. Last Sunday, they reached 5 wins by beating the Buffalo Bills, 41-9. Fascinating!
- Currently, the Bears are right on schedule in regards to matching passing yards from 2006. Rex Grossman was the quarterback at the time and tallied 1,810 passing yards. As of now, QB Mitchell Trubisky has thrown for 1,842 passing yards. What is interesting is the rushing yards. Bears fans have been begging to see more of running back Jordan Howard. But the Bears have actually surpassed the 2006 rushing yards in the first 9 weeks.
In the first half of the 2006 season, the Bear’s rushing yard total was 641, which was mostly handled by RB Thomas Jones. So far the Bear’s have 1,027 total rushing yards split between, Trubisky, Howard and RB Tarik Cohen. That is an increase of 386 rushing yards from the 2006 season.
- The defense was the key in 2006 and are the key this season. Back then the Bear’s defense put up 2 touchdowns in the first nine weeks. As of today, the defense has scored four TDs. I expect them to surpass that by the end of the season.
- The obvious similarity is that the opponents are exactly the same. The eerie part is that they lost to the exact same teams: Green Bay, New England, and Miami. The point difference is interesting. In 2006, the above three opponents outscored the Bears by 41 points. This season so far, the opponents have outscored by a difference of 11 points!
If the Bears can stay consistent, playing on Trubisky’s strength and a strong defense, the Bears may end up with an 11-5 season. To match the 2006 divisional season, the Bears need to win against the Packers, both games against the Detroit Lions and the Minnesota Vikings.
Unless the defense can completely shut down the Viking’s wide receiver weapons of Adam Theilen and Stefon Diggs, I don’t see them winning both games. But I have faith in the Chicago Bears and hope to see the winning momentum continue within the divisional games.
The Bears face a tough schedule down the stretch. They will need to win at home against the Lions and the Vikings in the next two weeks, followed by a road game in Detroit on Thanksgiving.
A three-game winning stretch here would be epic for the Bears holding first place in the division and a message to the league that the new and improved Monsters of the Midway are back.
Bear Down Chicago! The drought may finally be over.
#crossingmyfingers #OFTB #DaBears
Talk Bears with Wanda on Twitter @WandaW63