Cowboys, Bears the Teams to Beat in the NFC
A few weeks ago, as far as most people were concerned including myself, it was a foregone conclusion that either the Rams or Saints were going to represent the NFC in Super Bowl LIII. However, following losses by both teams to the Bears and Cowboys these past couples of weeks, the question we should be asking now is, are Chicago and Dallas potentially the teams to beat in the NFC following dominant wins over NOLA and LA? Things change so fast in the NFL, more recently both the Saints and Rams looked quite invincible with their prolific high flying offenses, that was until they both got beat by superior defensive squads in a decisive manner in consecutive weeks.
Consider that the Cowboys, who have now won five straight games, and the Bears who’ve won six of seven overall, have simply gotten red hot at the right time as we prepare for the final three weeks of the regular season. Their defenses are clearly the best in the NFL and have recently proven that despite the opponent, they can play with anyone, and more importantly, win games, even with average play by their quarterbacks.
Between Trubisky and Prescott, they had five combined interceptions on Sunday in their wins over the Rams and Philly, but both proved to be resilient and helped lead their teams to huge victories. Dak still threw for 455 yards against the Eagles, which is tied for third-most passing yards in the team's history, and threw three touchdowns to Amari Cooper, who has been a game changer in Dallas. In fact, since Cooper's arrival, the Cowboys have gone from being ranked 30th in the NFL on third down, to 3rd, Trubisky has shown moments of brilliance, but has the luxury of having a defense with 25 interceptions, and seems to score virtually every game with their league-leading 34 takeaways. Don't get me wrong, this isn't the '85 Bears defense, but its pretty damn good as they held the mighty Rams to 6 points, and 214 yards of total offense, when they average 448 yards and 35 points per game.
Not so long ago both Drew Brees and Jared Goff looked to clearly be poised to lead their teams on a Super Bowl run, but after facing the Cowboys and Bears, both appear to be mere mortals now as Goff has looked average these past couples of games, and Brees committed multiple turnovers for the first time in Sunday's win at Tampa. At this point, it seems inevitable that Chicago and Dallas will be the third and fourth seeds in the NFC playoffs, meaning if they get past wild-card weekend, then they will have to travel to New Orleans and LA to face the Rams and Saints again.
Could either team if not both win in these two difficult places? I don't see why not, and imagine a Bears-Cowboys NFC Championship game, that would be a site to see. Bottom line is that whether or not you want to consider the Cowboys and Bears as Super Bowl contenders, numbers and stats don't lie, these two teams are clearly the best in the NFC and have proven it without a doubt these past couples of weeks.