Whether you know it or not, the NFL is very much like a regular 9-5 job. Except you have legions of adoring fans, get to play a game for a living and your paycheck gets delivered via armored truck. But besides that, exactly the same.
Football players not only spend four quarters a week completely abusing their bodies, but they also spend plenty of time at the office, preparing to abuse their bodies.
Last week, the Bears had the difficult task of playing on the road, on Thursday night, after having played the previous Sunday. They had almost no time to prepare - let alone rest - before putting it all on the line again. So, to go into Miami and not only win, but come away with a shutout victory, helps a player to take a much needed breather, get some rest, and get ready for next week.
Having taken care of business down in South Beach, the Bears are now rewarded with a few extra days to rest-up and prepare for the Philadelphia Eagles. The Eagles, on the other hand, had to play a physical Giants team on Monday night, and will head into Sunday's game against the Bears 1 day behind.
The Bears certainly made good use of their additional time to prepare by squeezing in some of those additional meetings and walk-throughs. But, will it help? It certainly can't hurt. Some seem to think the additional time off simply robs a team of momentum, but not after an already short week. The Bears will be well-rested, and well-prepared for the Eagles come Sunday afternoon.
Just for the interest factor, here's an inside look at what a typical work week is like in the NFL:
Mondays: Players generally arrive at the facility around noon, work out a bit, go to team and individual meetings, review film from their previous game, and get out around 5:00 PM, generally, depending on whether they won or lost the previous week.
Tuesdays: This is the league's mandated players day off. This of course is subject to change based on short weeks or prime-time scheduling. Players are allowed to work at the facility if they choose to do so, and many will make fan appearances or do work in the community on their off days.
Wednesdays: Players typically get to the facility early, 7:00 AM or so. They have meetings, followed by walk throughs, lunch, another meeting or two, and then practice.
Thursdays: Basically the same as Wednesdays.
Fridays: Normally a pretty short day, with walk throughs again, possibly extra game film study, injury treatment, and/or rest.
Saturdays: Player meetings, walk throughs and catch a plane if you're playing an away game.