We're not going to spend very much time analyzing the Bears victory over the Arizona Cardinals. The Bears should take nothing, zero, from beating a team that plays Ryan Lindley and Brian Hoyer at the quarterback position. Lindley is to the Cardinals what Henry Burris was to the Bears: rock bottom. The Bears are now 9-6 and head to Detroit with a distinct opportunity to make the postseason.
Sunday is simple. The Bears must win in Detroit. Then the Packers must beat the Vikings. If that scenario occurs the Bears will be traveling to San Francisco (most likely) on wild card weekend. Is this Bears group a "playoff caliber team"? Who knows? But winning ten games in the modern NFL is nothing to sneeze at and making the tournament is still an important achievement for a coaching staff.
It will be one of the more important and nerve-wracking Sundays of the Lovie Smith era. Yes, expectations will be low for the Bears if they enter the postseason. They would be significant underdogs at San Francisco - perhaps more than a touchdown. But for Lovie Smith to lift this club out of a total collapse and into January will allow everyone around Halas Hall to take a positive look at a season that was trending negative. If the Bears were ever to win a playoff game the season would be elevated from disappointing to successful over the span of three hours.
I have said several times I believed the schedule would break for the Bears and they would lose in Detroit. I hope I'm wrong. Because if this coach and this quarterback can't beat the nothing-to-play-for Lions with their own season on the line one has to wonder if they are the right combination moving forward.
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