Somehow, it seemed fitting that the rain started falling and the gray skies moved in and the crowd roared for the 1985 Super Bowl team, which was honored during a halftime ceremony.
If you want pretty, follow another team.
But if you want pretty effective, this Bears team is for you, with Sunday's 10-6 victory over Baltimore serving as Exhibit A.
The Bears are .500 or better after six games for the first time since 2001, and though a 3-3 mark is no reason to start planning Super Bowl parades, it does keep the Bears atop the NFC North.
It also sets up a showdown on Sunday in Detroit and sent home 57,537 waterlogged fans from Soldier Field with visions of playoff games still legitimately dancing in their heads.
"We just fought," said Thomas Jones, huge again with 139 rushing yards. "We knew it was going to be a tough game. We have a great defense. They have a great defense. It was just a matter of who could play for 60 minutes and execute in crunch time. Finally, we were able to break through. This is a huge win for our team."
The Bears earned it by:
Not turning the ball over in a well-managed game by Kyle Orton.
Holding the Ravens to 52 second-half yards in a stout defensive effort.
Recording four sacks.
Completely shutting down Jamal Lewis.
Making just enough big plays in a game more suited for perseverance than prettiness.
"This is one of our biggest wins since I've been here," coach Lovie Smith said.
The first two offensive series for both teams featured punts after one set of downs, a harbinger for the grind-it-out affair that unfolded.
The Bears struck first, taking a 7-0 lead with 19 seconds left in the first quarter on a 9-yard pass from Orton to fullback Marc Edwards. The touchdown capped an eight-play, 78-yard drive.
The drive started with Jones rushing for 14 yards, picked up steam with a roughing-the-passer call on Adalius Thomas and stayed alive when cornerback Dale Carter got called for holding on an incomplete Orton pass on third-and-8.
Jones, who again wore a brace and needed a pain-killing shot for his sore right knee, broke another 14-yarder. Then Orton connected on a 13-yard pass to tight end Desmond Clark, who had his second strong game in a row with four catches for 50 yards.
Edwards' second touchdown catch this season came off play-action to Jones.
"Thomas is running tremendously well and, obviously, that opens up a lot of other stuff," offensive coordinator Ron Turner said. "That's a great defense we went against. We were watching film all week, saying, 'What are we going to be able to do?' But our guys accepted the challenge."
Baltimore got Matt Stover field goals of 40 and 29 yards on its final two first-half possessions, which included big third-down conversions to Randy Hymes and Derrick Mason at the expense of Nathan Vasher.
But the Bears improved their league-leading red-zone defense on the latter drive, stiffening when Baltimore reached the 11. The Bears have yielded only one touchdown in 13 trips by opponents into the red zone.
That the Bears stiffened during a quarter in which the offense failed to register a first down and managed minus-6 yards of offense made it all the more important.
"Our confidence has never wavered," safety Mike Brown said. "The thing is, we want to play perfect. When we make mistakes, we get upset. We know we have a good defense. But our expectations are to be great."
The Bears certainly were that in the second half, getting two sacks by reserve Tank Johnson and stopping Lewis at every turn. He managed just 34 yards on 15 carries.
The Bears, who have yet to give up a rushing touchdown this season, also haven't yielded a touchdown in the last two games.
"I think six weeks into the season, you see what type of defense we are," Smith said. "And we expect to get better."
The Bears closed the scoring on their second possession of the second half. A personal foul on Patrick Johnson during Bobby Wade's punt return set up the Bears at the Ravens' 45.
On a nothing-doing drive, Terrell Suggs got called for roughing the passer on third down. The Bears made Baltimore pay with a second third-down conversion, with Orton finding Clark for 8 yards, again off play-action to Jones. Robbie Gould then kicked his first career field goal, a 23-yarder.
Gould later missed a 47-yarder wide right, but the way the Bears' defense was playing, it didn't matter.
"We're flying to the ball," linebacker Brian Urlacher said. "We're making plays when we have to."
Even the breaks went the Bears' way. An Orton fumble recovered by Baltimore with 4:27 to play became a no-play when tight end John Gilmore got whistled for a false start.
"Olin [Kreutz] said, 'That was the best offside play ever,'" Gilmore said, smiling.
And Jones, who has four 100-yard games in his last five, salted the game away by breaking a 42-yard run and converting a fourth-and-1 on the Bears' final possession.
"We're confident," Smith said. "It's been a while since we've been 3-3 and where the next game means quite a bit. We're just trying to get respect. The NFC North has talked quite a bit about the records. But I see it getting better and I think we're leading the charge."
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