Originally posted on The Sports Bank  |  Last updated 11/4/12
Lovie Smith’s message to the team this week was to “have a fast start”. They clearly got the memo. In 2000, the Tennessee Titans pulled off the famous “Music City Miracle”. In 2012, the Bears stormed into Nashville and put on a performance that from this day forth should be known as the “Music City Massacre” (I’m trademarking this).   If they hadn’t done so already, the Bear’s firmly placed their names amongst the NFC’s elite with their 51-20 shellacking of the Titans.   At 7-1 (I told you!), the Bears hold a 1.5 game lead in the division over the surging Green Bay Packers and are tied for 2nd in the NFL in winning percentage with their week 10 opponents, the Houston Texans.   The way the Bears dominated the Titans on Sunday was almost comical. They forced so many turnovers that defensive end Corey Wootton was visually disappointed when a pass he tipped fell harmlessly to the ground instead of being picked off. It felt like the players on defense were expecting to come away with the ball on every play.   Even though the defense stole the show once again, the offense and special teams put on a clinic as well. A one sided affair like this one is a gold mine for statistical gems. So without further ado, I present to you the best “Fun Facts” from Sunday’s game.  The 28 point outburst in the 1st quarter set a Bear’s franchise record for points scored in a quarter. The Bears became the first team in NFL history to have a passing TD, rushing TD, interception return for a TD, and a blocked punt returned for a TD in a single quarter. (Credit: Mark Sessler, NFL.com) The Bears forced 3 turnovers within the first 13 minutes of play. Brian Urlacher became the 5th different defensive player to return an interception for a touchdown this season.  That 7th interception return ties the defense for 3rd most return TD’s in a SEASON in NFL history. Here’s to 7 more in the second half! After Urlacher’s touchdown, the defense had scored more points than the offense (14 versus 7) and the offense had “allowed” more points than the defense (2 versus 0). As they say, the best offense is a good defense. Literally. The Bears are only the 3rd team in league history to have 8 defensive/return touchdowns through their first 8 games. (Credit: Mark Sessler, NFL.com) 51 points was the highest point total for the Bears since 1980 when they routed the Green Bay Packers 61-7. The Bears now have 2 wins by a margin of 30 or more points, which hasn’t happened since 2006. This is also the first time the Bears have won 6 straight games since 2006. Coincidence? Charles Tillman’s 4 forced fumbles set an NFL record. He now has 36 since entering the league in ’03, which is by far the most in the NFL amongst defensive backs in that span. Brandon Marshall hauled in 9 catches for 122 yards and 3 touchdowns. He already has 59 receptions, which is 8 more than last year’s leading receiver for the Bears. (Credit: Zach Zaidman) Sunday marked Marshall’s 4th 100+ yard receiving game. He joins Bernard Berrian as the only Bear’s wide receivers to reach this plateau in the 2000s. Vanderbilt grad Jay Cutler had a homecoming to remember in Nashville. Cutler chalked up 229 yards and 3 touchdowns with 0 interceptions. This was his first 3+ TD game in a Bear’s uniform since 2010. Cutler also had a perfect passer rating of 158.333 in the 4th quarter and a game rating of 138.141. This is his second rating of 138 or more this season, both of which have come on the road. The Bears have scored at least 41 points in their first 3 games against the AFC South this season (51 vs.Tennessee, 41 vs. Jacksonville and Indianapolis). You’re next, Houston. BONUS: Brandon Marshall’s season totals now project to be 1596 yards and 14 touchdowns. We can all dream, can’t we?   Now that you’re loaded up on some trivia nuggets, take a step back and appreciate what all of those numbers above truly mean. We are witnessing a Bears team that can end up being almost as good as the greatest team that ever took the field: the 1985 Chicago Bears.   Some may call it blasphemy just to mention the ’85 team in the same sentence as any current Bears team, and I understand that the season isn’t over yet. But the numbers don’t lie: this defense is breaking and resetting records on a weekly basis, and the offense is finally rounding into shape.   These next two weeks will surely be a litmus test for the Bears as they square off with the AFC leading Houston Texans, and then follow up with a road game against the San Francisco 49ers. You can take a more in-depth look at my predictions for those two games here.   But if the Bears manage to play like they did in Tennessee week in and week out, they can beat anyone, anytime, anywhere. It doesn’t get much more humiliating than 51-20, and it honestly wasn’t even as close as the scoreboard made it seem.   Hopefully I have another long list of records to present to you next week following the matchup against the Texans. In the mean time, how much faith do you have in the Bears after seeing how much they accomplished in the first half of games?
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