There is only one question left to be settled by the Chicago Bears during this 2010 regular season. Will they be the NFC’s two seed and spend the first week of the postseason watching potential opponents beat the hell out of each other or will they fall a game behind the Philadelphia Eagles and host either the Giants or Packers in the Divisional round? The answer to that question will be very much on the line against the Jets this Sunday.
The Eagles face Joe Webb and the Minnesota Vikings this Sunday and they’ve opened as two-touchdown favorites. (I can see that line increasing as the week progresses.) Anything is possible, and the Vikings might have a big effort in them for coach Les Frazier, but that seems about as likely as Rex Ryan’s wife taking up ballet and ruining her prized feet. The Eagles then host the Dallas Cowboys on January 2nd. Division rivalry. Fierce rivals. But I don’t see it. The Eagles should saunter to twelve wins easily.
That means if the Bears win Sunday, they’ll go to Lambeau the following week with a chance secure the two seed. If they lose Sunday and the Giants beat the Packers, the Bears will most likely mail in the final week of the year and prepare to face the wickedest front four in the sport at Soldier Field, at full strength. If they lose Sunday and the Packers beat the Giants, the scenario is even trickier. The Bears would be in a position to almost determine their opponent in the first round of the playoffs. If they played at full strength and beat the Pack, they’d almost assuredly get the Giants. But I continue to contend that the Giants are the worst possible matchup for this team and I think they might play the backups in Lambeau to keep Osi, Tuck and company in Jersey for the winter. The Giants have a great running game and a great front four. The Pack have neither.
I will be rooting hard for the Bears to win Sunday (shock, I know). I don’t like this Jets team and I don’t want California Mark coming into Soldier Field and beating us. But more importantly, think of the road for the three seed in the NFC: home to Packers/Giants, at Philadelphia, at Atlanta or home Saints. (I’m assuming the NFC West will go quietly into the night.) I think the Chicago Bears are a very good team but I’m not sure there’s a team in the NFC capable of surviving that gauntlet.
So put the NFC North Champion hats and shirts back in the box and understand what Sunday means against Rex Ryan’s boys. A win Sunday could start the train to Dallas.