Six thoughts going into a third non-football Sunday in a row for me.
1. What are your thoughts on the suddenly-challenging matchup at Philadelphia? Following the Eagles’ four losses that dropped them to 1-4, this looked like a game to laugh at. Now after two impressive wins, the Bears’ week nine opponents look like they could be the “dream team” that was expected. I’m out of the predictions business. I’m hoping for the best but as always, concerned about the worst.
2. Matt Forte was chirping again this week about his contract situation. I’m amazed by Forte’s performance this year and glad to have him. If the Bears don’t sign him to a lucrative longterm contract with tens of millions in guarantees, they can use the franchise tag on the running back for two years. If this happens, in two years Forte stands to make over $17 million. For that reason, I’m starting to get sick of hearing about it. I know he risks injury every week, but life can be a LOT more cruel than the prospect of having to play a game for two years for $17 million.
3. Few interesting items on the Bears-Eagles series. The Bears were fairly dominant in the series in the 80′s, in fact the Eagles had never won in Chicago until 1999. Since that loss, the Bears have lost five of the last eight matchups. Interesting that despite Lincoln Financial Field having opened in 2003, the Bears have only played there once, in 2007. In that game quarterback Brian Griese engineered a last-minute comeback for a Bears win. Chicago has won three of the last four.
4. Strange schedule for the Bears. They played the Lions on a Monday Night, then the Vikings on Sunday night. After one Sunday day game here they are on Monday Night Football again. This will be their last night game until Christmas evening when they play at Green Bay. Hopefully that game is worth more than the Packers clinching homefield advantage.
5. Interesting to me that the final two weeks of this season mirror the end of the 2005 season, when the Bears played at Green Bay on Christmas and at Minnesota on New Years’ Day, same as this year. I can only hope and wish that the playoffs will be on the line again this year as they were then. Don’t know about that though.
6. I hated the 49ers through the 80′s and 90′s, and again in the early part of the last decade when they had a surprising resurgence with Jeff Garcia at quarterback. (Ditto for the Cowboys and all the other dynasty teams). But I am so intrigued by what one of my favorite Bears of all time, Jim Harbaugh, has done with that team. With virtually the same personnel that failed miserably for years, Harbaugh has the ‘Niners flying high. While it would be great to see the Bears somehow knock the Packers out of contention, I’d be pretty happy to see the surprising 49ers shock the world and do it to the reigning champs. Once the Bears are out of playoff contention I usually don’t care much about what happens. But I will most certainly be watching a 49ers-Packers playoff game if it happens.