Thursday, Dec. 2, 2010
Posted: 1:50 p.m.
By John Mullin
Another good Thursday visit at 10 a.m. with Dan McNeil and Matt Spiegel on "The Danny Mac Show" on WSCR-AM 670, with a tough quick ending question:
Who is the best team in the NFL right now?
My quick take was the New England Patriots, even with their recent loss to Cleveland. Why? Because there is no team in the NFL right now that I would like to face less than the Patriots, which is what the Bears will do after their visit to Detroit.
Mac and Spiegs weren't buying New England, partly because of the defensive situation that Mac pointed out. Their flavor of the week (given the way the NFL has bounced this year, probably a reasonable way to think) is San Diego and in no small measure because of what the Chargers did to Indianapolis.
I'll pass. I have never seen Philip Rivers as a big-game quarterback, whether for reasons of temperament or raw ability, and if there is a team more capable than the Chargers of spitting the bit at the finish line, I'm not seeing it.
San Diego is streaking right now, winning four straight. Great. San Diego always streaks sometime. New England has quietly won three straight, including wins over Indianapolis and by double-digits at Pittsburgh. Oh, and the Patriots went out to San Diego and beat the Chargers, the last time San Diego lost.
Given the number of games that come down to quarterbacking, I take Tom Brady over Rivers any and every time.
Closer to home, the guys were talking about the 2010 version of Matt Forte and I think we're all on board with the thinking that this is unquestionably the best Forte has played as a pro. Spiegs made a point of how patient Forte has been this year with sweeps and how that suggests some strong confidence in his offensive line. Spot on: Forte has been able to get squared with the ball without facing penetrating D-linemen or linebackers before the point of attack and that traces, as good running invariably does, to his front five.
And it traces to Mike Martz, an offensive coordinator who has taken stock of what he has, allowed that talent (including Jay Cutler) to do what it does best, and the results were almost predictable.
Mac questioned how many more wins I reasonably foresaw for this team, particularly since my preseason call on the Bears was 10-6 or better. They're 8-3 right now and some quick projection math here:
They will win three more. The Bears will beat Detroit, either New England or the New York Jets, and either the Vikings or Green Bay Packers. That'll pop to 11-5 and a place in the playoffs.
We'll see. And we'll visit again next Thursday, same time, same station.
John "Moon" Mullin is CSNChicago.com's Bears Insider, and appears regularly on Bears Postgame Live and Chicago Tribune Live. Follow Moon on Twitter for up-to-the-minute Bears information.