Bears as good as the 'best' and not good enough

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Bears as good as the 'best' and not good enough

Two things came out of the Bears 13-6 loss to the Houston Texans on Sunday night.

One is that they are generally as good as the NFLs best team, which the Texans officially are with their 8-1 record. That was some of the frustration that players felt in the aftermath. They felt they were as good as the Texans going in, they out-gained Houston 249-215, and they intercepted quarterback Matt Schaub twice and sacked him once, something that had happened only 10 times in Houstons first eight games.

The other thing, however, is that they are simply not good enough to win a Super Bowl.

More than one Texan said the game indeed could have been a Super Bowl preview. I think it would be a heck of a rematch, especially on a better field, said Houston defensive end Antonio Smith. Could they be seeing the Bears in New Orleans? Oh yeah. Heck yeah.

Right now the Texans might in fact be hoping that comes to pass, at least members of the defense.

The offense and quarterback Jay Cutler were exposed. They could not run when they wanted to, with Matt Forte managing just 39 yards on his 16 carries. Cutler still makes throws that a seven-year veteran should not make.

Mike Tice offenses in Minnesota were led in receiving two of the three years he was Vikings head coach. A surprise after this week will be Kellen Davis remaining in the starting lineup after a devastating fumble on the Bears first play and pass drop on what would have been a key third-down conversion late in the fourth quarter.

More to the point, the Bears began nine of their 14 drives with no worse field position than their own 35. The result was exactly two field goals, one after an interception gave them the ball at the Houston 35. A good team would have scored 28 points.

On only one of 14 possessions did the Bears pick up more than one first down and they even had to punt after that one.

Its a loss, said coach Lovie Smith. You have to go from there. We were beaten by a good football team. Were 7-2. Were going to get back. Theres a lot of football left to go.

Five Things to Watch: Blackhawks look to bounce back vs. Lightning tonight on CSN

Five Things to Watch: Blackhawks look to bounce back vs. Lightning tonight on CSN

Watch as the Blackhawks take on the Tampa Bay Lightning tonight on CSN and streaming live on CSNChicago.com. Coverage begins at 6 p.m. with Blackhawks Pregame Live. Then stick around after the final buzzer to watch Blackhawks Postgame Live for highlights and analysis.

Click here to watch the game or download the NBC Sports App, your home for live streaming coverage of the Blackhawks.

Five Things to Watch:

1. How will Blackhawks respond to worst loss of season?

The Blackhawks suffered their worst loss of the season on Saturday in a 7-0 rout at the hands of the Panthers. It was the first time they've lost by at least seven goals since 2011 when Edmonton beat them 9-2 and the first time they lost 7-0 since 2001 against San Jose; the Blackhawks lost to Washington 6-0 earlier this year. But by no means was Saturday their worst effort of the season. A questionable interference penalty by Marcus Kruger led to a two-man advantage, which Florida cashed in on with a goal and another shortly after, and it opened up the floodgates. Expect a big bounce-back against a hungry Lightning team.

2. Lightning fighting for playoff lives.

Every game is a must-win for the Lightning with eight games remaining on their schedule. They're three points out of the final wild-card spot in the Eastern Conference with a game in hand on the Bruins, who currently occupy that spot, but still have to jump the Islanders. The Lightning didn't do themselves any favors by losing three straight in regulation last week, but they've won two in a row and tonight will be the first of a four-game homestand for them.

3. Keep the puck off Nikita Kucherov's stick.

There isn't a hotter player in the NHL right now than Kucherov, who has seven goals and two assists in his last four games. He's had two hat tricks in the past month, and he ranks sixth in the league with 78 points and second in goals with 38. You know how lethal Artemi Panarin's slapshot is from the left faceoff circle? That's Kucherov, but on the right side.

4. Staying disciplined.

The Blackhawks are the second-least penalized team in the league, but they acted out of character Saturday by racking up 30 penalty minutes. They were also slapped with a pair of unsportsmanlike penalties, which isn't something you normally see from Joel Quenneville's teams. Ryan Hartman, who along with Marcus Kruger was penalized for "yapping" at the officials, accepted responsibility for it after the game, and insisted it "won't happen again."

5. Special teams to play key factor?

On the flip side, the Lightning are the second-most penalized team, averaging just over 11 penalty minutes per game. Power plays will be key for the Blackhawks in an effort to keep Tampa Bay's collection of talented young goal scorers off the ice. The Lightning also boast a top-five power play unit with a 22 percent success rate. Both teams would be better served staying out of the box and making this a 5-on-5 battle.

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- Latest on the Blackhawks: All of the most recent news and notes

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White Sox may have to deal with Francisco Lindor for a while, according to unlikely source

White Sox may have to deal with Francisco Lindor for a while, according to unlikely source

Sources have confirmed that kids really do say the darndest things. 

In a spring training game Sunday afternoon, 6-year-old Brody Chernoff, son of Indians general manager Mike Chernoff, spilled the beans on his dad's prospective moves. Goated by announcer Todd Hamilton, Brody said that his dad was trying to keep Lindor in Cleveland for seven more years.

On one hand, Brody's honesty rivals a young Abraham Lincoln. Not even Adrian Wojnarowski could cultivate a source so honest and to the point. On the other, his dad probably is a little shocked that contract offer leaks are coming from his own family. 

Either way, though, hearing that Lindor may be in Cleveland for a while is bad news for the White Sox. The 23-year-old stud shortstop has hit over .300 in his first two big-league seasons. So definitely not someone you want to have in your division for years to come. Oh, plus he's absolutely nasty with the leather. 

Cubs fans know all about Lindor's talents, too. The shortstop hit .296 in his first World Series and was almost a key reason the Indians captured the crown. Almost!

Watch the hilarious exchange in the video above.