CLEVELAND – In nearly three months the Bears have failed to win two straight games, which accounts for a 7-6 record by a team that broke from the gate 3-0 and was in control of its season early on.
Fortunately the rest of the NFC North has bumbled right along with the Bears, leaving the division lead within reach owing to three teams all having six losses. Any wild-card thoughts remain whimsy, since Carolina, San Francisco and Arizona all have five or fewer losses among division runners-up.
Which means that the Bears (again) have their chance to move into first place given that Detroit, which has lost three of four since surviving its game in Chicago, has Baltimore coming in on Monday night, and Green Bay going to Dallas Sunday afternoon without Aaron Rodgers.
A note here: There is no mention here of Jay Cutler, Josh McCown or any of that business, because it truly makes zero difference other than as a discussion point before and after the Cleveland game.
The simple facts are that the Bears should be able to defeat the Browns with either quarterback; and also that there is no remote assurance that McCown would have fared any better than Cutler if the Browns play to their usual standard, which is one of three very good defenses in the AFC North. For the record, the Bears defeated Cincinnati (8th in yardage, 6th in points defense) with Cutler and beat Baltimore (9th in yardage, 8th in scoring defense) in overtime with McCown.
Bears, 20 Browns, 14
“View from the Moon” 2013 record: 7-6. If only for prediction purposes, VFTM welcomes the return of Cutler, around whom VFTM opened the season with 6-0.