Originally posted on Football Nation  |  Last updated 11/9/12
Right now the Chicago Bears are the best team in the NFC. The Atlanta Falcons and San Francisco 49ers fans will disagree but right now they are wrong!  Both of those teams have been very impressive in the first half of the season, but they do not have the X-factors that the Bears do.  Not to mention when the Bears and 49ers play a week from this coming Monday the Bears will show the nation why they are in fact the better team.Let's take a look at the team defenses.  San Francisco is the closest to the Bears in terms of defensive prowess.  While the Falcons have been very impressive in the early goings their defense is not nearly as strong as the 49ers or the Bears.  Chicago's defense has been better then San Freancisco's in the first eight games of the 2012 season.  The Bears defense has 7 touchdowns in 8 games, and has 27 turnovers in only 32 quarters.  Those numbers alone make the Bears defense the strongest of this group.Now offensively there is one team amongst these three that truly stands out, the Atlanta Falcons.  Atlanta has been as close to dominant as one can be offensively through the first half of this NFL season.  With Matt Ryan at QB, and receivers Roddy White and Julio Jones one can see where the Falcons have been unstoppable.  While the Bears have struggled offensively, the potential is there to breakout.  With Jay Cutler at quarterback, Brandon Marshall at wide receiver, and Matt Forte running the ball it is not hard to fathom the Bears offense breaking out of its slump.Not forgetting the 49ers offense, although many people often do, Alex Smith has played decent ball, though San Francisco lives and dies with the run game.  When the Bears offense gets going they will jump to the top of this list with the weapons they have.When comparing special teams there truly is no comparison, the Bears are heads and shoulders above both the Falcons and the 49ers.  With a returner like Devin Hester you will always have an edge over any special teams you face.  While it is true that Hester has not returned a kick yet this season, his track record speaks for itself.  When the Bears played the Panthers a couple weeks back, the Bears offense had great field position all day because the Panthers refused to kick Hester the ball.And let's not forget Bears kicker Robbie Gould.  Gould has been one of the most accurate kickers in the history of the NFL.  Not only that but Gould has improved his leg strength enough that many of his kickoffs wind up as touchbacks. All these factors put together and the Bears are not only in the NFC, but in the NFL.  While many challenges lay ahead of the Bears in the second half of the season, expect the Bears to face these challenges head on and emerge with the number one seed in the NFC.
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