Take another look at '12 Bears' schedule and the '85 Bears'

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Take another look at '12 Bears' schedule and the '85 Bears'

The remainder of the Bears schedule has presumably better teams than the first seven games. What that means well, it really doesnt mean anything. More perspective on that in a moment.

Coaches and players arent the least bit interested in discussing whether or not the Bears have played anybody i.e., good on the way to their way to the 6-1 start. Why should they be?

Using one prism for perspective, the Bears have beaten only one team currently above .500.

Using a different one the Lovie Smith glass-half-full model four of the seven teams the Bears have faced have been .500 or better: Indianapolis, Green Bay, Dallas and Detroit.

Dallas and Detroit are 3-4 right now but heres the catch: that includes the losses to the Bears. Meaning, part of the reason those two are sub-.500 is because they played and lost to the Bears.

I think you have to forget that winning record part, Smith said. Because we had a 1-5 Carolina team come in here and play pretty good football.

I think you look across the league, if youre a true pro you dont get into those things. To be truthful, I know who we play this week Tennessee. But beyond that and I know whos coming up. But the order, we cant look at that. We just know that this week going on the road in a tough environment we need to play better ball, which well do.

The 85 lesson

Smiths Bears have had to endure endless comparisons with the 1985 Bears anytime their defense is very good. So its only reasonable that the 85ers help this group out on schedule perspectives.

The Super Bowl XX winners had six games against teams with winning records in 1985: New England, Washington, San Francisco, Dallas, Miami and the Jets. They were 5-1 against those teams.

The 2012 Bears are on course to have seven games against teams with winning records, including one more with Green Bay.

While the angst is running amok in BearNation, and lest there be any idea of, Yeah, but those 85 guys at least crushed the mopes on their schedule.

The 85 team needed come-from-behind wins to escape with two wins over Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the first five weeks of the season. Those would be the 2-14 Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Jim McMahons legendary Thursday night rescue from a 17-9 third-quarter hole was against division rival Minnesota. The 7-9 Minnesota Vikings.

As they were on final approach to the Super Bowl, the week after losing in Miami on Monday night, the Bears were tied 3-3 at halftime, at home, with the Indianapolis Colts. The 5-11 Indianapolis Colts.

The 2012 Bears arent the 1985 Bears. For that matter, the 1986 Bears werent the 1985 Bears. Schedule analyses should wait until more of it has played out.

Wonky streaks, good fortune over Cavs on the line for Bulls

Wonky streaks, good fortune over Cavs on the line for Bulls

No matter the metric or the occasion, the only thing definitive about the Bulls over the last two seasons has been their mystifying dominance over the Cleveland Cavaliers in head-to-head matchups.

That, and their fascinating streak of consecutive wins while playing at home on TNT, a streak that could end at 19 games Thursday night when the two teams with varying objectives clash at the United Center.

The Cavaliers are searching to find themselves, along with a light switch that will perhaps alert them to a lost defense over the past several weeks that has been worst in the league since the All-Star break.

The Bulls are searching for consistency, but since it’s probably a little too late in the season for that, they’ll settle for a playoff spot with eight games left.

They’ll take two straight wins for the first time in a month, if they can get it.

They’ll extend a goofy streak, if that’s what things will come down to.

“The big thing is obviously you have to execute very well against this Cleveland team,” Bulls coach Fred Hoiberg said. “You have to go out there with great urgency, great energy. I anticipate them coming in and playing with a ton of energy tomorrow. We’re going to have to match that. We’re going to have to come out and play physical basketball.”

Having a big break between games this late in the season is a rarity, as the Bulls have been off since Sunday evening, but it’s just another weird detail in this weird Bulls experience.

An experience that the mild-mannered Hoiberg has to experience from his couch some nights, such as watching the Miami Heat furiously steal a game in Detroit at the buzzer with a Hasaan Whiteside tip-in to extend a lead over his team to a game, followed by another win Wednesday to put more distance between the two teams.

“I did, actually,” said Hoiberg with a smirk when asked if he’s scoreboard watching and paying attention to the teams ahead of the Bulls in the playoff race.

After being prompted to give his raw emotions when Whiteside’s tip-in occurred, he slipped right back to Robo-Hoiberg—although one can imagine how animated he must’ve been while looking to catch a break from a previous contender for the eighth spot in the Pistons.

“It is what it is,” Hoiberg said. “You have to go out and worry about yourselves at this time of year. It was a great finish for Miami, obviously, the way that game ended. But there’s nothing you can do about that. You’ve got to worry about yourselves and hopefully go out and execute.”

Going 6-1 against the Cavaliers in his two seasons as Bulls coach is probably the biggest feather in his cap, including three wins in all three meetings this go round.

The rhyme or reason doesn’t seem explainable, but Nikola Mirotic seemed to give a few keys to the Bulls’ success over LeBron James’ Cavaliers: Sharing the ball, controlling the glass and getting back on defense.

“Against big teams, we play much better,” Mirotic said. “I don’t know why is the reason for that. We need to find a way to play against everybody like that. It’s on us. We just have to prove it.”

Usually, those tenets seem to work against most teams, not just the supremely talented champions who’ve just lost a grip on first place in the conference.

But their inconsistencies have left the Bulls here with a handful of games left before the April 12th finale.

A win over Cleveland could mean everything, or nothing at all, or something in between.

“Sure, we understand,” Mirotic said. “We’ve been in a very similar situation last year. We didn’t make the playoffs so this year we want to try to make that push. I think we have a good schedule for the last. Very important game tomorrow, huge one. I think we have played very well against Cleveland until now. We have a chance. We need to get out there and play with energy.” 

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