Time For November Knockout

Credit where credit is due.  While the Bears let the NFL’s worst team-the Buffalo Bills-keep Sunday’s game way too close, the Bears won the game 22-19, and that’s all that matters.

And furthermore, again forgetting the competition, the Bears converted on 58% of their third down attempts, far better than their season average, and Jay Cutler was not intercepted, and sacked only once.  So we have to be happy.

Next week, the Bears again face make-or-break time, as they did today.  At Soldier Field they will host the 3-5 Minnesota Vikings, fresh off a dramatic win over the (lowly) Arizona Cardinals.  With a win Sunday, the Bears will pull back into the division lead given their earlier win over the (predicted Super Bowl Champion) Packers.  At the same time they would put the Vikings into a 3-6 hole from which Minnesota would have to go 6-1 for the remainder of the season to have any hope for a playoff berth.  Conversely, if the Bears win against the Vikings, with a 4-3 record down the stretch they would be virtually assured a playoff berth.  They may even make it with a 3-4 record down the stretch if the beat the Vikings.

Sunday’s game shapes up as one of the most important November games for the Bears in the last decade.  It’s as simple as this-if they don’t beat the Vikings at home next Sunday, they don’t deserve a playoff berth.  If they do, and they don’t make the playoffs, that’s another reason to clean house after the season.

Regardless, 5-3 after 8 games is again better than most would have though the Bears would be in 2010.  No matter how it turns out, at least it’s been interesting to say the least.

A knockout of the hated, dysfunctional Vikings would be nice.

4 Responses to “Time For November Knockout”

  1. Yeah I’m feeling pretty good about the win, they didn’t look horrible and Buffalo has been close to beating KC and Baltimore…so I’ll take it.
    Tough 3 game span here, Vikings then 4 days later at Miami (I’ll be there), then 10 days to prepare for the Eagles. Heck, even the Lions game will be tough after that because Detroit will want revenge on the “Calvin Johnson game”…then they’ve got the Pats, Vikings (again), Jets, and Packers. This is a rough schedule to end the year. If they finish above .500 in these next 8 games, I’ll be impressed.

  2. While I’m glad we won, I still find that as I am watching what I see, I’m asking myself what about this team looks like a playoff team. And halfway through the season, I’m still not sure what the answer to that is. What I saw was a game we had 2 weeks to prepare for against a winless team, and we did just enough to beat a team who’s claim to fame is playing a few teams close lately. I fully understand that wins and losses are ultimately all that matter, and I was glad to see Cutler look a little more stable and make some plays on his own running the ball, and for a change the line held up. The defense looked stable for the most part, but the breakdown at the end of the half was a little troubling, and I still saw more 3rd and long conversions than should be happening, especially against a winless team.

    All that said, if you look at everyone’s remaining schedules, I could see the Packers getting to a point of being 9-6 going into our game there to end the season. IF we win some tough games during the last 8, and that is certainly a big if, it could be possible for us to be 10-5 going into that game. But that would be assuming we beat some tough teams like the Jets, Patriots and Eagles, and I’m just not sure we’re capable of doing that. If we win those 3 games and the rest of the schedule plays out the way I think it could, that’s the situation we may be in at the end. I’m not sure how the tiebreaker situation looks right now, and it’s probably a little too early to think that way, but if the Packers game determines who’s in and out, I don’t like our chances in that game. BUT, if we are somehow in a position at that point where the game is meaningless and we’re in already, that would certainly be a great and improbable end to the regular season.

  3. As Perno pointed, using the bills-scale, we fared better than the 6-2 Ravens and 5-3 chiefs. Lions almost beat the jets, packers beat the jets, so why wouldn’t the bears do it? Most games are close no matter the supposed “quality” difference between opponents “experts talk about. Lots of surprises ahead.
    No injuries other than Bowman’s. Jennings stays lucky.
    Feels good to be in the hunt.
    Toss the Ints up in the air, Brett!

  4. Sven, I certainly hope Peppers has stored up all his frustration at having 2 sacks and lets it all fly on Favre this Sunday!

Leave a Reply