In order to get ready for Sunday's game between the Bears and the Lions, I exchanged five questions with ChiFan13 of Windy City Gridiron. You can find my answers to his questions over at Windy City Gridiron later today, and his answers to my questions are below.
1. How has one-time Lions running back Kevin Jones done so far this season? I noticed he only has carried the ball 20 times. Is that because Matt Forte simply is that much better than him or is Jones just struggling?
ChiFan13: Honestly, I really think the reason Jones hasn't played is the performance of Forte so far. Forte has been amazing for us, running for 347 and gaining 147 through the air thus far. The one thing I have noticed is that Jones doesn't have the agility or speed that Forte does running the ball. But, I do hope Jones gets some more PT throughout the season, because Forte is on par to carry the ball 300+ times.
2. Kyle Orton has played pretty well this season. Are the Bears winning in spite of him, because of him, or is it somewhere in between where he is just managing the game well?
ChiFan13: You'll get different answers from every single Bears fan. Some think that he's awful, some think he's doing a good job managing the game. My own personal opinion is that it varies from game to game. In the Carolina and TB games, his lack of long-ball strength and accuracy was grossly apparent. However, he showed against the Eagles that he indeed does have the touch to throw the intermediate pass. Part of that also falls on Ron Turner, Boy Genius' play calling also. If Turner is able to take advantage of matchup problems like he did against the Eagles, Orton will be good enough to win games consistently.
3. Are you as surprised as I am that the Bears beat both the Colts and the Eagles? I suppose the 2-2 start isn't that strange, but the fact that they got there by beating Indy and Philly is to me, at least.
ChiFan13: The Bears this year are a very tough team to get a read on. We beat the Colts, we were ahead against Carolina/TB and lose, then beat the Eagles. I was very surprised about the Colts, not so much against the Eagles. Like Lance Briggs said after the Eagles game, we should be 4-0. But yes, if you had told me prior to the season that we'd be 2-2 with our wins against the Colts and Eagles, I would've laughed in your face. No doubt about that.
4. Is the Bears' defense back to its dominating self? I know just from having them on my fantasy teams that they have been very good this season, especially against the Colts and on that goal line stand against the Eagles, so should Jon Kitna be prepared to run for his life on Sunday?
ChiFan13: Again, it's been a tough read thus far, but I believe so. The one time that we seem to lose our ‘dominating' identity is late in the game when the D is tired. But, I do think that with our DB's hurt and questionable for Sunday, Jon Kitna will be running for his life. If I was Bob Babich (our DC), I'd be doing everything to get to Kitna early on and not let him sit back in the pocket. I think that our weakness against the Lions is your WR's against our hurt DB's, so Kitna should be prepared.
5. Are the Bears a contender? I don't mean to win the NFC North because that's not saying much. I'm wondering if they are contender to win a playoff game or two or possibly even more. Could we see a repeat of their 2007 playoff run with Kyle Orton playing the role of Rex Grossman?
ChiFan13: Like I said, it's a tough read. The fact that we haven't been consistent is worrisome to me. With the tough NFC East this year, we have to win the North to get into the playoffs. If we get there, I think they are a contender to win a game or two. When the team has been good, they've been very good. When the team has been bad, they've been very bad. So, it's a toss-up at this point.
And, I know you didn't ask for it, but I'll give you my prediction: Bears 24, Lions 14.
Thanks to ChiFan13 for answering my questions, and as stated already, my answers to his questions can be found later today over at Windy City Gridiron.