Bears only unbeaten team in the exhibition season.
Very clever, Rex. Keep the rest of the NFL guessing.
Fumble a snap every once in a while ... just to make defenses think they stand a chance.
Get picked off for a touchdown now and again ... just to give opponents an artificial boost of confidence.
Then, just when they think they've got you figured out ... ZING! Another touchdown pass for Rex Grossman! Another big victory for the Chicago Bears!
And they don't get much bigger than Saturday night's 31-28 triumph over the San Francisco 49ers, do they? The dream is alive: The Bears are the only unbeaten team remaining this exhibition season.
It certainly was a big one for you, Rex, as you exorcised a few demons and then, just for fun, exercised a few more.
One thing for sure, kid, you're never boring!
We had grown accustomed to your trend of following a good (or even great) performance with a bad (or even hideous) one. (Or vice versa.) Saturday, though, you found a way to wrap it all in one package.
You threw a 45-yard pass to Bernard Berrian on the game's very first play, setting up a touchdown, and later threaded a perfect pass through tight coverage to Desmond Clark, setting up a field goal. OK, so the Bears had to settle for three points there because you botched yet another snap from center, but why should anybody pick nits?
Just because you've mishandled five snaps in four games dating back to the Super Bowl, why did fans serenade you with boos? After messing up twice in the previous game at Indianapolis, you promised: "It shouldn't - it won't - be a problem during the regular season." And the regular season isn't here yet, so nobody has any reason to doubt you.
Anyway, you recovered beautifully Saturday, Rex, throwing TD passes to Berrian and Clark to put the Bears up 24-7.
That's when you said to yourself: "Self, the scouts employed by our regular-season opponents are starting to think I'm a superstar." So, cleverly, you threw an interception right into the hands of ex-Bear Walt Harris, who breezed 52 yards for a touchdown. Good thinking!
Again, you responded to finish strong. The Bears led 31-13 after your half of work, during which you passed for 211 yards and compiled a spectacular 112.7 rating. Take that, Brian Griese, and enjoy modeling a baseball cap on the sideline.
"I thought we did a great job," you later told the media. "There were a few mistakes here and there, but we will clean them up."
Said your coach, Lovie Smith: "We moved the ball pretty much at will. Rex threw the ball well, but we had a couple of turnovers we need to eliminate."
Hey, Rex, nobody can expect you to be perfect. Still, for some strange reason, the media is fixated on your faults. One would think that you spit the bit in the Super Bowl or something. Or that the quarterback actually matters. Just look at the Colts; it's not as if they had anybody good at QB when they beat you guys last February.
It's a team game, and you've got a pretty good team around you.
You must be glad you don't have to play against the Bears' first-string defense. Brian Urlacher & Co. were dominant even without Tommie Harris. The All-Pro tackle still isn't 100 percent recovered from last year's hamstring injury, and better he not play until he's ready - no matter how crucial these preseason games are.
Soldier Field got about as quiet as a full stadium can after fan favorite Devin Hester was felled by a shoulder injury (while blocking on a running play, of all things). Lovie later said he'd be fine, which had to be quite a relief to you and your teammates. We all were reminded about how valuable Devin is when his replacement, Drisan James, fumbled his only punt return attempt. (When a sportswriter in the press box asked what kind of name "Drisan" was, a wise guy responded: "One that means, 'Adios, rookie.'")
Otherwise, the special teams were typically good, making the most even of bad situations. For example, after punter Brad Maynard fumbled a snap, he picked up the football and ran 18 yards for a first down.
Say, Rex, you might want to get a pointer or two from Brad.
If, that is, you ever were going to fumble another snap again. Which you're not. Unless, of course, you need to for strategic reasons, you cagey devil.
Mike Nadel (firstname.lastname@example.org) is the Chicago sports columnist for GateHouse News Service. Read his blog, The Baldest Truth, at www.thebaldesttruth.com .