Are the Bears for real? We think they are, right? They're leading the NFC North more than halfway into the season, so they probably should be taken seriously. But not everyone is buying in just yet.
Specifically, Brady Quinn, who joins me every Tuesday for the Pick Six Podcast (put some daily NFL podcast in your life and subscribe: via iTunes | via Stitcher | via TuneIn | via Google Play), says he can't take the Bears seriously right now.
"I can't take Chicago seriously. I just can't. I know they're at the top of the division right now and that's going to upset some people," Quinn said. "I just think that the second half of the season, as good as their defense is, we're going to start to see them wither away a little bit. And we're going to see the cream rise to the crop."
So what is it about them that makes Brady question their chops in the NFC North? The schedule is certainly a problem, and Brady has a very good point about it.
"Who do you feel like they've really beat? They've beat a Seattle Seahawks team that at that point of the season was not very good," Brady pointed out. "They beat the Jets, they beat the Bills, they beat the Cardinals, they beat the Bucs. Those are their wins beside the Seahawks. Let's be honest, who have they beat?"
And it all boils down to the offense and, naturally, Mitchell Trubisky, the second-year quarterback who has flashed at times and been very bad at times. He's an inconsistent quarterback and his play raises some questions for Brady.
"So, when I look at this team, as much as you want to say, 'oh they're at the top of the division' -- they haven't beat anyone. Their schedule sets up to where they play Detroit, then Minnesota, then Detroit, then after that they play the Giants. This team could win three of their next four because of their opponents, and I think it's all a product of their schedule," Quinn noted. "They're not that good. Bears fans might be upset about me saying that, it's just how I see this team right now. And if they do make it in the playoffs, to me they'd be a one-and-done team.
"I haven't seen enough growth from Mitchell Trubisky. I don't think you can look at their running game as overall consistent. They kind of live and die by Mitchell Trubisky, and he's too inconsistent for me."
The reality is the Bears have stacked wins. Their defense looks stout, but they only have one division game played so far, and it was the brutal, close loss to the Packers in Week 1 of the season. Detroit isn't a perfect team by any stretch, but they can hang with the Bears. The Vikings look like they're peaking and might be a serious problem for Chicago, given how Mike Zimmer's defense is playing and the relative weaknesses of Chicago's offense.
It seems like a hot take to claim the Bears aren't for real, but we might not have seen Chicago prove anything yet and we might not know who they really are until they get through the meat of their division schedule.