Bears at Buccaneers,

1 p.m.



Points allowed by the Chicago defense, the fewest points in the NFL over 10 games

"We're similar teams. They like to run the football, play great defense. Our defense got its origin down there. They're the fathers of the defense. We're the young crew coming up through the ranks."

Bears Coach Lovie Smith, on the Buccaneers

Chicago's defense is looking like one of those seemingly invulnerable antagonists in a Coen brothers movie. The Bears have given up three touchdowns over their opponents' past 78 possessions. The defensive line has been particularly sharp; it had eight sacks in a 13-3 win over Carolina last week.

Defensive line play was a big reason the Ravens won the 2001 Super Bowl. Tackles Sam Adams and Tony Siragusa took up blockers and allowed linebacker Ray Lewis to get to the quarterback or ballcarrier.

The Bears' line is doing the same for linebackers Brian Urlacher (73 tackles) and Lance Briggs (63 tackles).

Chicago's critics compare this year's team to the 2001 squad that went the way of the hit men in "Fargo" -- i.e. it looks tough because it's facing overmatched opponents but is bound to meet an untimely end. Bears fans say this team is more like Eddie Dane in "Miller's Crossing" -- a tough guy who would have won out if he hadn't been betrayed by his boss. And with Lovie Smith at the helm instead of Dick Jauron (career record of 36-45), the current boss isn't a fool. Stay tuned.