There is no Bears game to watch on Sunday, on the heels of Thursday night’s victory over the Saints to keep our playoff hopes alive. So what’s a Bears fan to do? Some may get roped into Christmas shopping or putting up decorations or other chores. Others may be lucky enough to be in their Fantasy Football playoffs and have their usual rooting interest in particular players. But as an orange and blue-bleeding Bears fan, you have a duty on Sunday – root for certain teams to lose to help the Bears’ playoff chances. I’m not picking the games, but I’m giving my take on who we, as Bears fans, should be rooting for. Here is your checklist of teams to be cheering for on Sunday:
- Arizona over Minnesota. This one is a given. The easiest path for the Bears is to have the Vikes lose at least 2 of their last 3 games. This is the last road game for Minnesota and Tarvaris Jackson is starting for the Vikings in place of the injured Gus Frerotte. Hopefully the Cards do not suffer from a hangover after clinching the NFC West last week and bring home a victory.
- New York Giants over Dallas. Even though the Bears’ chances are slim for the Wild Card, at 8-5 Dallas is in the thick of the Wild Card race and a threat to the Bears. With a NYG win, it does two things: 1) keeps the Giants in the hunt for the #1 seed in the NFC and 2) brings Dallas down to 8-6 and knocks the Cowboys back down to the same record as the Beloved with two difficult games remaining.
- Cleveland over Philadelphia. Even though the Bears beat the Eagles earlier this season, they sit with a 7-6-1 record, so unless the Bears somehow tie in one of their last 2 games, they’ll need Philly to have one more game in the loss column. This is will be an uphill climb for Cleveland, which is down to their 3rd string QB and heads into an ever-hostile Philadelphia on Monday night, but “LET’S GO BROWNIES!”
- Calolina over Denver. This ones seems counter-intuitive, but I’ll try to explain. We want the Panthers to be in the hunt for the #1 seed. This keeps the Giants interested in playing right until the end of the season, where they play at Minnesota. Like I said before, the easiest path for the Bears is with the NFC North crown, so we want to make the Vikings’ road as difficult as possible. A Giants team that is fighting for the #1 seed in the last week of the season poses a bigger challenge for Minnesota.
- Tampa Bay over Atlanta. With the Bucs at 9-4, I am rooting for them to take the first Wild Card slot. They have relatively easy home games left against San Diego and Oakland, so I hope they win out. Meanwhile, Atlanta plays at Minnesota next week, so having the Falcons with their backs against the wall makes them a bigger threat to the Vikes.
I hope this helps shed some light on the Bears playoff roadmap. With the Bears playing a week from Monday, I’ll put up a similar post next week to help you next Sunday too. Meanwhile, I’ll be rooting for the Jags to beat the Packers, mostly because I enjoy watching Packers fan suffer and I’ll be rooting for Indy to beat up the Lions and put them one step closer to history. Besides, I’ve got Peyton Manning and Reggie Wayne going in my Fantasy League semi-finals.
Topics: 2008 NFC Playoff Picture, Arizona Cardinals, Atlanta Falcons, Carolina Panthers, Chicago Bears, Dallas Cowboys, Indianapolis Colts, Minnesota Vikings, New York Giants, NFC North, Philadelphia Eagles, Tampa Bay, Wild Card