I was actually surprised that this many Bears fans thought their team was going to win Sunday night in Indy. There isn't much optimism emanating from the Windy City these days when the topic of conversation is their beloved Halas Hall residents. So I looked around to see if anyone without bias thought the Bears could win.
No one at sportsline even thinks they can cover.
ESPN, while not ballsy enough to pick against the spread, doesn't have a Bears pick.
Peter King, while obviously putting a ton of time into his analysis, has the Colts -- and check out the side poll. Over 95 percent of the voters have the Colts winning.
And so it goes, on and on and on ... no matter where you look. There are a few people who think the Bears can cover, but I didn't find a single entry where the Bears were the predicted winner.
It makes sense. To illustrate why, let's first go over what the Colts have to do to win.
1. Show up.
2. Keep Peyton Manning in good health.
Honestly, that's about all they need to do. It's the opening of their new digs, and the crowd will be jacked for the Sunday Night spotlight. The team will feed off that emotion and surely get off to a huge start. Unlike Peyton's little brotherand his mates, they are a better than average football team that will be able to maintain the pace and close the door.
Since I'm a die-hard Bears fan, though, here's a very biased listing of five different ways the Bears can win. They'll need to do any combination of these, preferably all of them, in order to pull off the upset.
1. Keep Peyton Manning and the Colts offense off the field by moving the chains and dominating the time of possession battle.Kyle Orton is the QB because he plays relatively mistake-free football when compared to Rex Grossman. Short passes, a quality running game, and no turnovers can keep the defense fresh while preventing the Colts to get into any sort of offensive groove.
2. Related to the above ball control offense, the Bears must win the turnover battle. You can't beat a superior team when the TO-ratio is in the red.
3. Hurt Peyton. It sounds bad to say, but hear me out. He's already hurt. I do not wish any ill-will on Peyton Manning or the Colts. I like Manning, and I have no problem with the Colts -- only Blue Friday. On the other hand, I want my favorite team to win. If that means Tommie Harris plows through the middle of the Colts patchwork offensive line repeatedly, causing Manning to leave with knee soreness, so be it. Speaking of which ...
4. The Bears' defensive line needs to dominate the Colts offensive line. The middle of the Colts line is inexperienced for this game, and Harris, Dusty Dvoracek, and company need to make Peyton's life miserable from up the middle. The more pressure he sees, the more he has to hurry throws and put additional pressure on that bum knee. Lance Briggs and Adewale Ogunleye are already talking about this as a strategy. If it causes Manning some knee soreness, he may have to dress like he is in the picture above. That would only help the cause for the Bears, because Jim Sorgi in the game equals a ballhawking defense's dream.
Bias aside, the Bears probably can only come close to achieving number four. Manning's fine, the Colts won't be stupid enough to kick to Hester, etc. I know that, and you know that.
Of course, stranger things have happened, and it is only week one. Even the Indy Star Colts' writers, each of whom are very homerish -- except Bob Kravitz -- all have the game within two touchdowns.
Me? I'll take the Colts to win ... but the Bears to cover! Take that.
A final note: I'll be there Sunday taking pictures of the gorgeous new facility for FanHouse. If you are wearing something Steph said was a no-no and a dude in a Devin Hester jersey takes a picture of you, well, don't say you weren't warned.