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Chicago Bears Giving Bears Fans Exactly What They Demanded....

Rock Mamola

Producer/Host on WSCR 670AM The Score.

A couple of things came to mind while watching yesterday's Bears' 36-7 defeat at the hands of the New England Patriots.  I was thankful that I was not one of the 60,000+ out in the 20 degree weather and sub-zero wind chills with snow blowing in my face from all angles.  I was excited at the thought of a low scoring entertaining game because there is just something about watching grown men in tights slip and slide all over a snow covered plain.  I also hoped the Chicago Bears for the first time all season would beat a good AFC team (no offense to Buffalo or Miami) because this year the NFC is the weaker conference (AFC won 30 of 55 head-to-head match ups this season).  
The combination of the extreme elements, playoff positioning on the line, and Tom Brady is town........this is must see television.
However the first 30 minutes of the game left me with an empty feeling inside.  The Chicago Bears were down a Scottie Pippen at halftime and the attraction of the game faded away quicker than the red yard markers on the Soldier Field turf.  While a loss to the best team in football may seem like a reality check or as some players put it "a butt kicking", this game showed me some things about this Chicago Bears team that I think most fans are overlooking on this Monday.

"Monday Morning Quarterbacking" has always traditionally been a day where fans of the teams that win look forward to the next week and fans of the teams that lose figure out who needs to be fired and which players to go after in free agency.  The art of the "overreaction" is something Bears fans have been accustomed to for generations.  Losing 36-7 in front of your home fans can leave a sour taste in the mouths of Bears fans, but hold steady 4th phase.....all is well.
Even with the loss to the Patriots on Sunday afternoon, the Chicago Bears are one step closer to an unexpected division crown because of the incompetence of their main rival.  Yesterday Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers suffered his second concussion in the last two months as Green Bay lost to the lowly Detroit Lions whom the Bears beat last week.  It is not yet certain if Rodgers will make it back for the Packers' next game which (of course) happens in Foxboro against the same Tom Brady and the New England Patriots who just embarrassed the Bears yesterday.  Throw in the fact the Patriots have won 15 straight games at Foxboro and the possibility of Matt Flynn starting for the Packers should make Bear fans forget.....whatever happened yesterday.   
This is the same Matt Flynn who could not lead the Packers to one touchdown drive against the Detroit Lions yesterday.  You think the Packers are thinking twice about not signing a veteran backup for Aaron Rodgers this season?  You bet right.   
With three games to go and the Bears with a game lead on their only competition for the division, like I stated back in October.....this is still the Bears division to lose.  The only possible way for the Packers to win this division is win with Matt Flynn on the road in a place where the last two and a half seasons no road opponent has gotten the "W".  It would take an utter collapse on the part of a team that has had lady luck on their side since the beginning of the season. Between catches called non catches and key injury after key injury happening to each Bears opponent the week before their match up, the Bears have had their share of Lucky Charms all season long.  Do you realize that the same stadium the Bears would play in next week (Lovie Smith is 1-5 in the Metrodome) collapsed yesterday under the weight of a historical snowfall in the Minneapolis area?   
Bears fans can no longer ignore the fact that the Bears are by far not only the healthiest team in the NFL, but the luckiest.  No matter what, Bears fans should not complain nor criticize this team any longer for their unexpected results.  The facts remain that the Bears are one of the top teams in the NFC, that is not only unexpected but welcomed.  The questions should no longer be asked if the Bears are for real because their record says they are.  Even with the disturbing loss yesterday to a future Hall of Fame coach and quarterback, the Bears are still very much in the playoff picture if they are not there already.
But with a division crown comes a home playoff game......this is where Bears fans should start to worry.
The Bears have the worst home record among the division leaders at 4-3 and face a New York Jets team in two weeks who are 5-1 on the road.  The Bears have the second best road record in the NFL at 5-1 (Steelers 6-1) but their five wins have come against not one team with a winning record at home (Buf, Car, Dal, Mia, Det).  The one game the Bears have lost on the guessed it...the New York Giants who are 5-2 at home and the only opponent that the Bears have played on the road who has a winning record at home.  
So what does all this mean?
Looking toward the playoffs (barring the Bears lose to the Jets), do you feel comfy with a Bears playoff team who is a .500 team on their own turf in the winter months with the possibility of elements like what happened yesterday?  Or do you prefer the Bears not win the division and get a road game in the playoffs against a team who has a winning record at home?  That is the quandary Bears fans face, looking at the numbers even if the Bears do make the playoffs, they look like the easiest pick to be a first round out in the NFL postseason.
But was not that goal all along?  Was not the goal of this 2010 season playoffs or bust?  If that is the case then how can this 2010 season truly be a failure for Lovie Smith and company?
So while you are still working on your own personal "Monday Morning Quarterbacking" of the Bears loss to Tom Brady at the Patriots, remember these three things going forward.
#1 - The Chicago Bears will win the NFC North

#2 - The Chicago Bears will accomplish the goals that the fans set

#3 - The Chicago Bears (more than likely) will be a first round out in the playoffs based on how they have performed against winning teams this year.

#4 - Lovie Smith and company will return in 2011 (barring an NFL lockout)
As unpredictable as this NFL season has been, the Chicago Bears' future is the most predictable of all.
Enjoy the ride!  After is what we all wanted anyway.
Rock Mamola is the Associate Producer of The Mully And Hanley Morning Show and co-host of The Joe O And Rock Show on WSCR 670AM The Score
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1 Comment

patrick said:

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hear is what bugs me about bears fans, so many times last night i heard the old and tired joke "the bears are who we thought they were". why isn't it that the patriots are who we thought they were. bears fans should proud of this team so far. i had them as a 6 maybe 7 win team this year. i am pleasantly surprised with what they've done so far. i know this is a bit off topic, but i needed to get it off my chest.

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