Bears Lock Up Home Field Advantage & Send Four to Pro Bowl
I know many people, including myself, were very interested to see how the Bears would rebound after last year’s dismal performance. It seemed the team put so much faith and pressure on Jay Cutler and I think it’s fair to say he folded under the pressure in the 2009 season. This year, though, the team is playing like, well, a team. The pressure is not exclusively on Cutler’s shoulders.
Chicagoans are generally very hopeful at the start of a new season no matter how terrible the last one was and this year was no different for Bears fans. We have had a lot of practice thanks to the Cubs and, up until recently, the Blackhawks.
This year I don’t think many imagined that the Bears would be the No. 2 seed in the NFC Playoff picture, and thanks to those not-so-recently-but-usually-always-pesky Vikings beating the Eagles on Tuesday Night Football, that locked up the first week bye.
This 2010 Bears team proved something to Chicago and the entire country: this team is for real and is going to be a real threat in the playoffs for the first time since 2006.
The NFC North champions, who produced a lot of wins thanks in large part to their defense, earned three Pro Bowl selections on the defensive side and one on the special teams side. I think it’s fair to say that the country and the NFL recognize the Bears to have one of the most solid organizations in the NFL.
Defensive end Julius Peppers, linebackers Brian Urlacher and Lance Briggs, and kick return specialist Devin Hester were selected. Unfortunately special teams standout Corey Graham, who racked up 24 tackles, surprisingly didn’t make the cut. The Bears did not have an offensive player selected.
It will be Briggs’ sixth consecutive trip to the Pro Bowl. It’s also the sixth time for Peppers and the first for him in Chicago. Urlacher was chosen for the seventh time and the first time since the 2006 season. Last year he was sidelined with a season-ending injury during week one. Hester will be making his third trip to the Pro Bowl.
Even though this exhibition game is sometimes overlooked by many football fans, it’s always interesting seeing the chemistry between players that were once trying to kill each other fight for one another. It demonstrates the sportsmanship most of these players have for the game and for the NFL. It’s also always interesting to see the world’s best football players play in one game. It’s a lot of talent on one field.