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The Bears

Posted by Doug on October 9, 2006

I'll admit it. I thought the Bears were pretenders last year and that they'd struggle to make the playoffs this year, much less be in the hunt for a first round bye. I know I'm not alone on this. At this point, we're well beyond acknowledging that they're for real and we need to start talking about where their start ranks among the all-time dominant starts to a season.

Since the 1970 merger, 56 teams have started the season 5-0, including this year's Bears and Colts. The Ravens might join them tonight. Of those teams, the 2006 Bears have the 2nd-highest point differential and they are one of only two teams to have won 4 of their first five by 20 points or more. The list below shows all the 5-0 starters, Margin is the team's point differential through five games, B stands for blowout and is the number of 20+ point victories in the first five games.


TM YR Margin B Record
==========================
stl 1999 123 4 13- 3-0
chi 2006 120 4 ??????
was 1991 111 3 14- 2-0
den 1998 89 2 14- 2-0
mia 1984 88 2 14- 2-0
nwe 1974 87 2 7- 7-0
chi 1986 86 2 14- 2-0
den 1997 84 2 12- 4-0
min 1975 81 2 12- 2-0
ind 2005 77 2 14- 2-0
den 1977 77 2 12- 2-0
ind 2003 76 2 12- 4-0
chi 1985 75 1 15- 1-0
stl 2001 75 2 14- 2-0
phi 2004 74 1 13- 3-0
nor 1991 74 2 11- 5-0
stl 2000 72 2 10- 6-0
ram 1973 72 2 12- 2-0
min 1998 70 2 15- 1-0
kan 2003 70 2 13- 3-0
was 1971 67 2 9- 4-1
min 2003 67 1 9- 7-0
dal 1976 66 1 11- 3-0
dal 1977 66 1 12- 2-0
pit 1978 64 1 14- 2-0
min 1974 63 1 10- 4-0
nyg 1990 63 1 13- 3-0
den 1986 61 1 11- 5-0
stl 1974 61 2 10- 4-0
nor 1993 60 1 8- 8-0
mia 1972 57 1 14- 0-0
phi 1981 56 1 10- 6-0
bal 1977 54 0 10- 4-0
mia 1992 53 1 11- 5-0
nwe 2004 52 0 14- 2-0
cin 1975 51 1 11- 3-0
sdg 1994 50 0 11- 5-0
was 1978 49 1 8- 8-0
tam 1979 48 0 10- 6-0
buf 1980 48 0 11- 5-0
cin 1988 47 1 12- 4-0
was 1986 47 1 12- 4-0
dal 1983 47 0 12- 4-0
buf 1991 47 0 13- 3-0
min 1973 43 0 12- 2-0
ram 1985 40 0 11- 5-0
sfo 1984 40 0 15- 1-0
ram 1989 40 0 11- 5-0
tam 1997 39 0 10- 6-0
ind 2006 35 0 ??????
ram 1978 35 0 12- 4-0
car 2003 33 1 11- 5-0
sfo 1990 33 0 14- 2-0
jax 1998 32 0 11- 5-0
min 2000 31 0 11- 5-0
nyj 2004 31 0 10- 6-0

Sure, the Bears schedule hasn't been that tough, but it hasn't been a joke either. The 1999 Rams' was almost certainly easier. The 1991 Redskins had a tougher slate than the 2006 Bears and if you made me choose just one team (after having given it very little thought), I'd say that the 1991 Redskins probably had the best 5-game start in modern NFL history. But the Bears have a pretty strong case.

A few weeks ago, I opined that the first two weeks' results don't mean much. But a look at the top of this list shows that the first five weeks' unquestionably do, at least if they are as strong as the Bears' have been. Six of the top 10 teams on that list made the Super Bowl and a few of the ones that didn't were favored to.

This entry was posted on Monday, October 9th, 2006 at 3:24 am and is filed under General, History. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.