I’m going to change up my usual pregame analysis of both sides of the ball because, to be quite frank, there’s no point. The Saints are playing for an outside shoot at a playoff spot and the Bears are playing for pride, which is a nice way of saying the season has been over for a while. However, there are still some things to focus on for the game for Bears fans.
There will not be any rematch against Reggie Bush for his antics last year at the NFC Championship game. Interesting enough, his back-up Aaron Stecker now has a sprained toe and may not be able to play. The start at tailback may go to Pierre Thomas, who grew up in Illinois and played at the University of Illinois before going on to the NFL as an undrafted free agent. There may be a large home crowed cheering on Thomas to do well in his NFL debut.
Let me also say that if I were an NFL coach and one of my players told me he didn’t want to play on Sunday because he had a sprained toe, I would heavily consider cutting him from my team.
After putting up a big game against the Vikings the Bears will have to end the season without Nathan Vasher, who was put on the Injured Reserve. Bears fans will have to dream in the off season of how this season could have different and how next year’s defense could improve with Vasher back on the field. He gave us a glimpse of how he can change a game by himself. I can see why the Bears locked him and fellow corner Charles Tillman up with long contracts.
Lance Briggs has been suffering from a bad hip and sat out practice on Friday. There is a chance he might play but given the attitude of the press towards Briggs this past week, it sounds like he is as good as gone. Lovie Smith should just go with Jamar Williams and see what the kid can do on the field. Having a solid option at linebacker allows the organization to focus on other positions in the off season.
I’ve been trying to bring attention to it the past few weeks so I’ll make another mention. Mushin Muhammed is only 95 yards away from having 10,000 receiving yards for his career. In a meaningless game for the Bears, helping Moose reach a great lifetime achievement for a receiver would be a great way to end the season on a high note.
Fred Miller practiced on Friday and is expected to start on Sunday. Now if someone can just explain to him that we expect him to start playing football on Sunday and not whatever he has been doing this entire season.
In a testament that there are still true football players out there, Tommie Harris will play again on Sunday despite the bad knee he has been dealing with all year. It would be very easy to sit this out but the kid just won’t quit. If only we could clone this guy and make a football team out of them, we could take on the Patriots any day.
I’m excited to see more of Matt Toeaina at defensive tackle. The guy has a lot of heart and has proved himself worthy of getting the 3 year contract to Bears signed with him. Lining up a guy like Tommie Harris that has limitless talent, with a guy like Toeaina that’s all heart, could produce big results. They can feed off each other and create the kind of havoc in the middle that the Bears defense thrives on.
While I would love to see the Bears end this season with a win, does it really matter that much? The Saints are in a bind with an inexperienced running back for Sunday but a desire to win. Without Vasher on the field and the Bears using scraps for the secondary, Drew Brees could have a great day. He has been on fire late in the season and is most of the reason the Saints have a chance at a playoff spot. The best the Bears can hope for is more of that blistering cold to hamper Brees, but I doubt we will get so lucky twice.
Tags: Aaron Stecker Bears Football Bears Vs. Saints Charles Tillman Chicago Bears Fred Miller Jamar Williams Lance Briggs Matt Toeaina Mushin Muhammed Nathan Vasher Pierre Thomas Reggie Bush Tommie Harris