The neck-bearded savior

At the beginning of the season, who would have thought that the Chicago Bears would have the highest scoring offense in the NFL?Definitely not me. But that is where we found ourselves after seven weeks with the Bears having scored 196 points this season.This was the team that was expected to be a cheap pushover for the likes of the Green Bay Packers and Minnesota Vikings.But thanks to a hard-nosed rookie running back, a wily offensive line and a quarterback in Kyle Orton that looks very similar to the gunslinger we saw at Purdue many years ago, the Bears entered their bye week tied for the best record in the NFC North.All the talk in the division this offseason was about the Packers Aaron Rogers and his takeover from Brett Favre and the young Tavares Jackson and his potential with the Vikings. But Orton came out of nowhere to sit right alongside Rogers as the best quarterback in the division while Jackson is sitting on the bench in Minnesota.Orton has improved every game this season and now posts a 91.4 quarterback rating and has thrown 10 touch?downs compared to just four interceptions.Orton is no longer just a simple game manager; he is driving this Bears offense to new heights.Two weeks ago, Chicago scored 48 points in a 48-41 win over the Vikings – the Bears haven’t put up this many points since 1986 – with Orton going 21-32 for 283 yards, two touchdowns and, more importantly, no interceptions.Isn’t this supposed to be the Black and Blue division where the teams pound it out and win by running the ball hard and playing tough defense?Apparently Orton did not get the memo.One message he did receive was the one coach Lovie Smith sent when he named Orton the starting quarterback. Orton has turned that faith into concrete confidence not only in his abilities as a QB but his teammates now see him as a leader on the field.It has been a long time since the Bears have had a leader behind center. And combine that with the rookie running back, Matt Forte, and the Bears have a dynamic duo in the backfield.But besides Forte, this offense does not have very many special players; the top two wide receivers, Devin Hester and Brandon Lloyd, are injured. Yet somehow Orton is finding a way to throw for nearly 300 yards a game.It has been a very long time since the Bears had a consistent and productive quarterback for an entire season and I may be getting ahead of myself just seven games into the season, but there is something about the Great Bearded One that gives me hope.It may be dangerous, but I am going to go out and say that Orton is the bearded savior that is bringing offense back into style in Chicago blue and orange.