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Sunday, July 14

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Bears in Five

by the Staff

It's hard to believe that the Super Bowl is still about a week away. And, if you're like us at Bears in Five, it feels like you're a little kid waiting for Christmas morning. The anticipation. The nervous feeling in the pit of your stomach. The plate of cookies and glass of milk set out by the fireplace. OK, that part is a little much. But it will feel like Christmas morning this coming Sunday. And we've come up with a little wish list of what we'll be looking for during the game, and if everything turns out as we hope, Santa will bring us what every kid dreams of, the Lombardi Trophy. And nobody wants to see a disappointed child on Christmas morning.

One: A Solid Running Game
A powerful running game is what the Bears have always been centered around. And a soft Colts run defense (32nd in the NFL this season, dead last) can only work to our advantage. If the Bears can establish the run early with Thomas Jones and Cedric Benson, this game should be a breeze. But the Colts seemingly have turned their regular season weakness into one of their best weapons in the playoffs. They shut down all-world Kansas City running back Larry Johnson in the first round. The limited the effectiveness of the Patriots' Corey Dillon and Lawrence Maroney in the AFC title game. Neither of those guys can be considered a slouch. And the same can be said for our own two-headed monster of Jones and Benson. This is really where the game will be decided. Stick to the run, grab the trophy. It's that simple. Now if the Colts will just buy into this theory...

Two: Put Peyton In His Place
Where is Peyton's place you ask? Why flat on his back of course. One of the biggest battles for the Bears will be creating consistent pressure on Peyton Manning. He's far too skilled to be left with any extra time when he drops back to pass. Anyone who has seen even the smallest clip of Manning in action will tell you this. He also has one of the best offensive lines in football protecting him. If Tank and the boys in the middle of our defensive line can keep Colts center Jeff Saturday occupied and stop him from helping out on the edges of the line, this will be a much easier task.

Three: Exploit the Deep Ball
The Colts' secondary has had some injuries throughout the year. Starting cornerback Nick Harper is still an issue for the Colts in the days leading up to Sunday. Safety Bob Sanders is finally healthy, which could be bad for our Bears. He is what makes that defense go. But if Bears present the run early and often he won't be as big of a factor in the passing game. He'll be playing closer to the line as a little added insurance. Which brings to the point we're trying to make. The long ball to Bernard Berrian. It's worked all year, even when teams have been looking for it. Berrian is the Bears' biggest big play threat on offense and if the time is right, Rex Grossman will be looking for him. And if the timing is especially right, six points.

Four: Limit the Effectiveness of the Colt's Big Play Capabilities
It can be argued that the secondary is the weakest link on the Bears defense. And the fact that the Colts have two of the best wide receivers in the NFL, Marvin Harrison and Reggie Wayne, isn't helping things for them at all. If one is left alone, the other will burn you. And double-teaming them every play won't work given the Colts spread out offense. Charles Tillman and Nathan Vasher have the toughest assignments of anyone on the Bears defense. Fortunately, they understand that. Shut 'em down boys.

Five: A shower for Lovie Smith
A Gatorade shower.

Pucks in Five


Bulls in Five

...are both on vacation this week.

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About the Author(s)

Ramsin Canon, Craig Aichele and Fitz are the hosts of, the best and brightest Bears podcasts, part of the Chicago Sportscast Network. Now with 60 percent more non-football talk, bringing the football talk to 10 percent. Go listen. Send comments to

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