Chicago Bears: Are they pretenders or contenders?

Chicago Bears (Photo by Norm Hall/Getty Images)
Chicago Bears (Photo by Norm Hall/Getty Images) /
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Chicago Bears Bryce Callahan
Chicago Bears (Photo by Jennifer Stewart/Getty Images) /

Following their Week 3 win, the Chicago Bears are in first place in the NFC North. Are they truly contenders, or are they pretending?

No, you do not need your eyes checked. The Chicago Bears are sole owners of first place in the NFC North right now, following a wild Week 3 among the division.

It all started when the Minnesota Vikings went down early to the lowly Buffalo Bills, who many thought were the worst team in football. Kirk Cousins played some of his worst football, especially early, and the Bills dominated the Vikings.

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At the same time, the Green Bay Packers found themselves on the losing end of a contest with Alex Smith and the Washington Redskins. With both the Vikings and Packers holding a record of 1-1-1, the Bears had an opportunity to launch into the top spot with a win over the Arizona Cardinals.

The game did not start in an ideal manner, with the Cardinals going up 14-0 early on touchdown passes by Sam Bradford. For some reason, Bradford was able to find two fairly-open receivers on both scores. However, Arizona’s offense would stall from then on.

The Bears’ defense came to play after giving up two quick touchdowns, and shut down the Cardinals for the rest of the game. Three Cody Parkey field goals and a Jordan Howard touchdown brought the Bears back to a close 16-14 victory.

But, hey, it was a win, right? Now the question is, are the Bears contenders for the NFC North division title? It’s only been three weeks, but it’s a question worth asking. Let’s tackle it.