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How the Bears Won the Old-Fashioned Way

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The Sports Sunday crew takes a look at Forte's sick year.

They say defense wins championships. We saw four interceptions Sunday in London.

They say a running game keeps your defense fresh, weakens the opposition's defense and controls the clock. Matt Forte put up 145 yards, Marion Barber 39 yards.

In today's NFL, defense and running aren't all that sexy. Teams want to put up big numbers. That means throwing a lot. And while a 98-yard bomb is fun to watch, it also means your defense has to go right back on the field.

The Bears beat Tampa the old-fashioned way Sunday. They stayed patient and they physically wore down their opponent.

The Bears ran 34 times and passed 32 times Sunday. In contrast, the Bucs ran just 11 times and passed 51. The stats tell the story. Even if you didn't know the final score, you'd guess the team with the balanced offense won.

While you're watching a game, it's easy to get impatient and demand your offense abandon the run. Three-yard runs are hard to watch. But every so often, what appears to be a three-yard run becomes a 40-yard scamper. Good teams know this, and they keep chipping away.

Patience is the virtue of a veteran team. And the Lovie Smith regime has two very deep playoff runs to remind them not to panic. At 4-3 with a soft upcoming schedule, the Bears are well within contention for a wild card.

The trick is not to panic. Keep chipping away. Three yards at a time. One game at a time. And maybe, just maybe, the season will break wide open.

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