Since they opened the 2013 season with three straight wins, the Bears have not won consecutive games in two months. If they cannot accomplish that soon and more than once, what thoughts remain as far as reaching the postseason will fade to nothing.
They are very much in the playoff competition standing 6-4 with six games remaining, but the St. Louis Rams this Sunday and the Minnesota Vikings next week represent tipping together a tipping point in coach Marc Trestman’s first season.
The games are both on the road. More important, they are both against NFC opponents, as are the Dallas Cowboys on Monday night Dec. 9.
Right now, Arizona, Detroit, San Francisco and the Bears are 6-4. The Bears already trail Detroit because of losing both games to the Lions and they are the only non-division leader with a losing conference record, and that includes the Carolina Panthers who are 7-3 and trailing New Orleans in the NFC South.
The immediate problem with the Rams is that in spite of some offensive shortcomings, they have allowed more than 20 points in just one of their last five games, including eight to Indianapolis and 14 to the Seattle Seahawks, the No. 2 scoring offense in the NFL.
The Bears have had 100 receiving yards from either Alshon Jeffery or Brandon Marshall or both in seven of 10 games thus far. Marshall had seven all last year.
“Anytime your offense can rank in the top 10 in this league, you’re doing a good job,” said offensive coordinator Aaron Kromer. “And that’s where we’re at right now in a lot of categories. And we’re in the top five in a few. As long as we can keep that going, I think we’re on the right course. We’re growing as an offense and getting to know each other better each week.”
Continuing that growing progress will be an issue in a hostile dome against a good defense and with a very, very good pass rush. The Bears hurt themselves with pre-snap penalties at home against the Baltimore Ravens and the potential for a repeat in the Edward Jones Dome is certainly there.
But the Bears rate a significant edge in a matchup on teams led by backup quarterbacks. If Josh McCown can continue his spotless record of ball security (zero interceptions, zero fumbles), the Rams even coming in following an off seem should not be good enough to out-offense a Bears offense that has too many first-tier weapons.
Bears 16 Rams 14
Moon 2013 record: