The disappointingly 8-7 Chicago Bears are getting set for a visit from the arch-rival 7-7-1 Green Bay Packers this week in a mega-matchup in which the winner wins the division and goes to the playoffs and the loser will watch the playoffs from their couches, waiting idly for the draft. I already went over the history between these two teams earlier in the season, so I thought I would use this introduction to tell Bears fans to take a deep breath. Every team has bad games. Granted, the Eagles game was exceptionally bad, but I am nearly certain that the Monsters of the Midway will rebound this week and at least have a decent showing. Now that I’ve gotten that off my chest, let’s get to some phase by phase analysis:
Offense: As I said above, I expect the Bears offense to rebound in this game and put up some pretty solid numbers. Since this might be the closest thing to a playoff game the Bears play this year, I think it’s time for Marc Trestman to take the gloves off, open up the playbook and show us some of that genius that everyone keeps talking about. I expect a fair share of trick play from both teams in this one, and the team whose trick plays work mot often will probably win. Either way this should be a really exciting game to watch.
Defense: Being ready for the aforementioned trick plays will be key in this one. I don’t think whether or not Aaron Rodgers gets healthy this week will have as big an effect on the outcome as people think it will. Aaron Rodgers is really good, but Matt Flynn has been playing really well the last couple of weeks and Chicago hasn’t been able to stop anybody this year. It gives me hope that Lance Briggs is back out there on the field getting everyone aligned and diagnosing said trick plays, but not much. I don’t expect Chicago to be able to stop Green Bay, but I would like to see a little bit of trickery from the defense as well. A few well-timed confusing alignments that nobody’s seen from the Bears could go a long way in this one.
Special Teams: Wouldn’t it be great if Devin Hester broke the all-time return touchdown record in this one? Joe DeCamillis, if you’re reading this, see if you can’t make that happen. Speaking of Joe D., it would be nice to see some creativity from him as well. All I heard all offseason was what a great special teams coordinator he was, but I haven’t been impressed.
I want the Bears to win this one with all my heart, but I can’t seem to shake this inkling in the back of my mind that it might be better for the team in the long run if they lose, get solid draft positioning and reload to make a run next season. I don’t have any illusions that this Bears team is a legit Super Bowl contender, and the difference in draft position between 8-8 and in the middle of the pack and 9-7 and in the playoffs can be considerable. What do you guys think? Is it better to lose and get better draft positioning or is it better to sweep the Packers and build this team’s confidence? Let me know in the comment section.