Wow, when was the last time the Chicago Bears had a 7-3 record and its fan base was anxious? (Then again I may be the only fan that’s anxious).
In 2001 and 2005 at this point the Bears were rolling, and more importantly at least two other teams in their division were out of the picture. In 2010 the (UGH) eventual Super Bowl champion Green Bay Packers were barely hanging in.
This year, 2012, the Bears are now in a tie but losing the tiebreaker with the Packers. And tomorrow Chicago hosts the Minnesota Vikings. A Chicago win and the Bears go to 8-3, the Vikings to 6-5. Given that the Packers play at the New York Giants on Sunday Night Football, conceivably the Bears could be back on top of the NFC North in 24 hours.
But of course, the Bears could lose, the Packers win, and all of a sudden the Bears need to win out and depend on losses by their rivals to hope to squeak into the playoffs. All of this depends on the Bears’ offense, supposedly the best in 20 years, playing to their potential. Of course it helps that Jay Cutler looks likely to play. And will the insertions of Jonathan Scott and Chris Spencer in the starting lineup make any difference?
This will be an interesting finish to the season regardless. If Lovie Smith’s team loses out, including to Green Bay and misses the playoffs, will he still be signed to an extension because the McCaskey family loves him?