It’s never too early to start thinking about a playoff spot, especially if you’re a Chicago Bears writer excited about your favorite team’s 4 game winning streak. After Sunday’s 37-13 smackdown of the Detroit Pussycats, the Bears have bounced back from a 2-3 start to move to 6-3 and nab the NFC’s final playoff berth if the season ended today. Now it’s up to the Bears to start moving up the ranks and solidify their spot.
Sitting at the #6 seed in the NFC, the Bears would face the highest seeded division winner which doesn’t earn a bye. Right now, that would mean a return trip to New Orleans for a Week 2 rematch with the Saints. I wonder if I could make that return trip too. Something tells me that my wife would object, especially since we’re expecting a new little Bear at the end of December. But I digress.
It looks like the top 2 seeds are starting to take shape, with the 9-0 Packers and 8-1 Niners both seeming to be headed for byes. The Niners could lock up the NFC West within the next couple of weeks, so it will depend on their motivation to hold that bye. I’m not conceding the division for the Bears, but a 3 game lead with 7 left to play would be tough to overcome, even for the Bears and their soft second half schedule. Then again, the Packers are an Aaron Rodgers injury away from joining the rest of the field.
If the Bears move past the Lions for the #5 seed, and their upcoming schedules seem to indicate that they should be able to, the Bears could get the lowest seeded division winner, currently the NFC East leader the New York Giants. It will be interesting to see how these teams jockey for position in the weeks to come.
Of course the Bears can’t afford a letdown, because they have the Cowboys and Falcons nipping at their heels, both sitting 1 game back at 5-4, though the Bears do hold the tie-breaker over the Falcons. While the Bears are going on a rare 4-game AFC West streak, they will be helpless to improve their conference record, critical for tie-breakers, until December 18th when they host the Seattle Seahawks.
The playoffs are within reach. Now it’s time to go out and take a firm grasp of them. Who knows, the Bears could get on a roll and…
I’m getting ahead of myself. Let’s focus on Philip Rivers and the struggling Chargers.