INDIANAPOLIS – Perhaps the best line of the day came from Brian Urlacher in his on-field post-game interview with Andrea Kremer.

 

In framing one of her questions, she casually mentioned that the Bears 29-13 win over the Colts was an upset.

 

“We thought we were going to win…” said Urlacher with a scrunched up nose and mild look of disgust.

 

By some counts, Chicago was a nine-point underdog to Indianapolis in the Colts season home opener, and grand opening of Lucas Oil Stadium. Trailing only once (3-0), the Bears controlled the entire game with the only glaring mistake coming from Devin Hester on the second half opening kickoff.

 

Deep in the end zone, Hester attempted to fake out the Indianapolis special teams unit by walking as though he was going to down the ball. Just when he thought the kickoff team had relaxed, he bolted out of the end zone. They key word was “thought.” The fake out did anything but fool the Colts and ultimately forced Brad Maynard to punt from the back of his own end zone. Luckily for Hester, Peyton Manning’s squad was having an off night, constantly being frustrated by the Bears defense.

 

Was the season opener revenge from the disappointing Super Bowl loss two seasons ago? Highly unlikely, though that question might better be answered on an individual basis.  But whether or not the Colts were at full strength is another issue. A 75 percent Peyton Manning is still loads better than many of the other quarterbacks the Bears will see this season. The next toughest quarterback Chicago will face this season is probably Donovan McNabb in two weeks, followed by Vince Young in Week 9 and Drew Brees the second week in December. Injuries happen and teams go through trivial ups and downs throughout the year. But one thing is for sure – the Bears gave everyone a glimpse of what they can be at full strength, and the threat they pose in the NFC North.

 

Kyle Orton looked solid, threw no interceptions, and quietly set a confident tone for the Bears offense. And guess what – for the first time in recent memory, the Bears did what coach Lovie Smith has insisted they try to do every week – they got off the bus running. Matt Forte showed all of his critics what he is capable of, and did so with the help of a stern offensive line that hasn’t looked so good since before the Smith era. Forte became the first Bears rookie running back to start since a man by the name of Walter Payton over 20 years ago. You might have heard of him. He gained zero yards that game. Forte on the other hand rushed for over 100 in the first half. He shouldn’t yet be crowned the greatest by any means, but he definitely provides the spark in the backfield that the Bears have been looking for since they shipped Thomas Jones to New York.

 

Watch out NFC North. The Bears passed their first test with flying colors. The Colts are repeatedly picked by the experts to sit at the top of the AFC, and often picked as preseason favorites to represent their conference in the Super Bowl. The defense is intact, the offense looks surprisingly comfortable, and the team has given fans something to cheer about. At least now we won’t have to listen to Lovie answer questions each week about who his starting quarterback will be.


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