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Good news everybody! The AFC has a team nearly as banged up as the Bears and better yet, they're massive underachievers!
It was a nice victory for the Chicago Bears and their wide receiving corps of taxi squad recruits.
Given the number of injuries the Bears' offense has sustained, victory was likely contingent on a thus-far unknown player emerging, seizing the opportunity and shining on the national stage.
Would Marquess Wilson, Bill Bellamy or Burgess Meredith capture the hearts of Chicagoans?
Or would crappy late-game play doom this season to a four-month run of uninterrupted shitness*?
Turns out the last guy most would expect, our old friend Jay Cutler, was the man who came up with the goods in the clutch.
After being summoned from the area behind the gym where the cool kids go to burn coffin nails, Cutler channeled his inner Douglas MacArthur and elevated the play of his team, eventually leading Chicago to successive dramatic drives that culminated in a game-winning touchdown pass to Matt Forte.
Even as an unabashed Cutler apologist, that last sentence felt weird to write.
When asked what the keys were to the final two offensive series', the quarterback only responded "Bold Flavor" in a husky voice before climbing upon the back of a live bear and exiting Arrowhead Stadium astride his animal familiar.
Lion Down On The Job
Boy that's a crappy looking team they got over there in the mitten.
Last week, Detroit Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford got benched for taking the football and throwing it at the hands and chests of the Arizona Cardinals' defense.
During the postgame press conference Stafford told the assembled reporters that Lions head coach Jim Caldwell informed him at halftime that "if I threw another interception that I'll be pulled out of the game."
Stafford followed this up by burping.
When Stafford's preparation was called into question by several members of the Detroit press, the quarterback wasted no time putting his foot directly into his talking hole.
"Well I definitely wasn't getting drunk before the game at Dizzy's house," said Stafford before visibly wincing. "I mean, I was at a pornography store. I was buying pornography."
"Hey you guys [gagging noise]," slurred a random female Lions fan who had wandered into the room. "You guys need to . . . yooooooo guys need to back UFFFFF . . . I mean, back waaaaaaay OFF this guy." The fan pointed in the direction of rookie running back Ameer Abdullah, a man who by all accounts is not Matthew Stafford.
"Sheila, you're killing me here," Stafford hissed, leaning away from the microphone. "Boy this is pretty random, huh guys?" said the quarterback into the mic, before leaning towards his teammate. "Ameer, for shit's sake, help me out here." Abdullah responded by sprinting out of the room.
"No way Map," said Sheila pointing to the ceiling and then donning a confused look. "Dude, why did your mom name you Map?" Burp. "A map is a map. Not a name." Cough. "You're a person . . . wait." Sheila stumbled towards the podium. "You should take off your shirt. If you really are a map, you can show me the way to the AM/PM that sells booze 'til eleven. Then we can go slam some more forties at Dizzy's place like we did this morning!"
"Booooooo!" rang the chorus of the assembled group of Detroit reporters who began throwing old tomatoes and cabbage at the Lions QB.
"Wow guys," Sheila said in a dazedly impressed manner. "That took a lot of (buuuuurrrrrrrp), what's the word? 'Forsythe,' that's it. You guys had a lot of Forsythe to bring that spoiled produce to a presser."
"I think you mean 'foresight,' Sheila," said Stafford while fending off a stalk of celery that was well past its prime.
Eventually the mob ran out of vegetables and disbanded. The Lion's signal-caller shrugged, pulled a 40-ounce bottle of King Cobra malt liquor from underneath the podium and took a swig, then offered the bottle to Sheila.
"SWEET!" said Sheila. "You should still totally take off your shirt (burrrrrp)," she concluded before throwing up again. "Hey, it's pretty warm in this police station. Maybe I should take off my shirt."
"Nah," said Stafford inspecting the pool of vomit at the woman's feet, then taking the bottle back from her and putting down ten ounces of booze. "I'm good. (Buuuurrrp). You go ahead and keep that jersey on."
Okay, So Now What?
Thanks to their second straight clutch victory, the national media has collectively satted up and takened notice of the Bears' abrupt turnaround. Check out the chatter from other publications.
"The new coaching regime has the Bears playing out of their mind . . . thanks to their liberal use of peyote-infused water on the sidelines. They don't know where they are and they don't care where they're going. As long as that giant, top hat-wearing spider they all swear is perched atop the Gatorade cooler keeps playing Steve Vai tunes, they believe the sky's the limit. We're moving them up to 27 in our rankings." - Pat Kirwin, CBS Sports
"The Bears are a tolerable watch; a brand of football that doesn't force you to scramble for your remote to save your head from exploding like that guy in Scanners. Chicago is the 28th best team in the league right now." - Jim Nasium, USA Today
Last week we told you to keep your expectations in check and by all accounts, every single Bears fan has.
Now prepare to reverse course.
Reverse course, from not moving?
Okay, you have my permission to cease your listless drifting upon a sea of non-expectations.
Look, I'm not going to say that the Bears are a, quote, "good team."
But If they continue to max out their abilities, they can realistically beat three of their upcoming opponents; not in an "any given Sunday" kind of way, but the Bears might legitimately be a better team than the Lions and Vikings. I also think they can beat the Chargers and Rams.
Woah, woah, woah. Last week you proclaimed "Welcome To Limbo," pounded a Sierra Nevada tall boy, crumpled up the can and threw it at us. The Bears beat a middling team and, furthermore, the sharp edge of that can cut my kid's arm.
As a literary representation of a larger audience that only exists in my imagination, you can't reproduce. You don't have any kids. Secondly, I've upgraded my assessment of the Bears. They showed me something by beating a Chiefs team that's very difficult to beat on their home turf.
YOU CALLED THEM INJURED AND UNDERACHEIVING 700 WORDS AGO! THAT MEANS ANY TEAM CAN BEAT THEM ON ANY GIVEN DAY!
The coaching staff has won me over. I think they'll get the most out of the talent they have now and their absent key players will heal up as the season progresses. Also, some teams are a lot worse than I originally thought. I'd go so far as to say that in a few weeks, we'll look at the Bears as the best of the bottom half of the NFL.
The best of the bottom half. Wow. There's that Kool-Aid we've been hearing so much about. Name 15 teams worse than the Bears. I dare you.
Miami, Cleveland, Baltimore, Tennessee, Houston, Jacksonville, Oakland, Kansas City, Philadelphia, Washington, Minnesota, Detroit, Tampa Bay, New Orleans, San Francisco.
I don't think Minnesota, Oakland or Philadelphia belong on that list.
I'm not sure, either, but the fact that I can present a case that any one of those teams is worse than the Bears is a hell of an improvement from where we thought we were, so suck on that.
(Opens beer, gluck, gluck, gluck, throws can at imaginary child)
"Hey, watch it Dad!"
Oh crap, that one's real and legally my responsibility for another two years.
Kool-Aid (4 of 5 Bottles Of Bell's Two Hearted Ale)
I know, I know. Bell's Brewery is located in Kalamazoo . . .
Shut up, you guys. It's a Michigan-based brewery that makes some of my favorite beers. I highly recommend a pint or five.
Early this season, it looked as though a date with the Bears would be just the thing to cure the Lions of their early-season woes, but it appears as though the change at the top of the franchise has been just what the doctor ordered for the Bears.
It's like somebody pushed the "Try Hard" button on these friggin' guys.
Conversely, the Lions are a 53-man dumpster fire.
I banged a guy in a dumpster once (buuurrrrrp).
Get out of here, Sheila. You're gross and my wife is going to come downstairs and get the wrong idea.
"Your loss, Dizzy."
Ugh. You tell a few people you occasionally get vertigo and before you know it, you've got a nickname you can't shake and you're getting hammered on Sunday mornings with the quarterback of the Detroit Lions.
I fail to see the corollary.
Which part of "shut up" do you guys not understand? I've got to finish this thing.
I think if the Bears are going to get burned by anything, it'll be that Matthew Stafford will remember that he's got a darn good number two receiver in Golden Tate and the Notre Dame product will run wild while Chicago puts all of its effort into stopping Calvin Johnson.
I see Detroit as a dangerous, cornered animal of a football team, but also a far more mistake-prone group than the Bears.
One more afternoon of late-game heroics are in store. Bears win by capitalizing on Detroit second-half turnovers.
Bears 26, Lions 20
* Even though it tested well, the protagonist's name was changed from "Shitness" late in the production of The Hunger Games after the PMRC was invited to a screening.
About The Author
Despite ceaseless complaints from his daughter, iron-willed Carl Mohrbacher is dominating all things life for at least another 10 days, thanks to his Cubs playoff beard.
Carl Mohrbacher is our man on the Kool-Aid. He welcomes your comments.