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10 observations on the Bears

Bears Julius Peppers (90) raises his fist as he leaves field after Bears' wover Vikings. Peppers says Bears aren't there

Bears Julius Peppers (90) raises his fist as he leaves the field after the Bears' win over the Vikings. Peppers says the Bears aren't there yet. Click through the gallery for 10 more observations. | Dan Luedert~Sun-Times Media

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Updated: October 17, 2011 5:10PM

Julius Peppers, a steady voice of reason in the Bears’ locker room, said it best:

‘‘It’s something to build it. We’re not there yet,’’ Peppers said after the Bears’ 39-10 victory over the Minnesota Vikings on Sunday night at Soldier Field.

An impressive rout of a 1-4 team at home was nothing more than that, and nothing less. This is exactly who the Bears are this season — good enough, well-rounded enough and well-coached enough to take full advantage of a favorable situation. But change the dynamic at all — like on the road, in a dome, against a quarterback in his prime — and the Bears are a hit-or-miss proposition at best. It’s hard to knock five sacks and a safety, but until they do that against the Lions in Ford Field — like the 49ers did Sunday — all you’ve really done is held serve.

The Bears are 3-1 at home this season. And 0-2 on the road. Facing the good-but-not-great Tampa Bay Buccaneers on a neutral site at Wembley Stadium in London will be an interesting test for the Bears this week.

With the way the schedule is shaping up, the Bears appear destined for the playoff bubble, like they were in 2008 when they were also 3-3 after three games and had a chance to make the postseason by winning at Houston on the final day of the regular season, but lost to the Texans 31-24.

This team is better than that one. But not that much better. So with three of the final four games on the road — at Denver, Green Bay and Minnesota — all bets are off until the Bears show they’re more than a team that can win only with the wind at its back. And now, 10 other observations from the Bears’ victory over the Vikings:

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