Short, busy week ahead


So the Bears held serve with a solid win that they needed to keep their division title and playoff hopes alive.  Meanwhile, the Vikings squeaked one out over the hopeless Lions to stay a game in front of the Beloved with 3 games to play.   There is nothing better than a Victory Monday except a Victory Monday when the Packers lose too.  WIth their loss to the Texans, the Packers have been all but eliminated from playoff contention. See you Monday night 12/22 Cheeseheads!!

The Bears have no time to rest on their laurels, as the Saints come a callin’ for a Thursday night matchup.  By the way, for those of you that are in Chicago, the game will be available on local TV on UPN 50.  Out of towners either need the NFL Network or go out to a bar to watch the game.  Or for those locals that have a drinking problem, go out to a bar on Thursday anyway.  I’m not here to judge.

The Saints kept their slim playoff hopes alive with a 29-25 win over the resurgent Falcons on Sunday.  Pierre Thomasled a Saints ground attack with 102 yards rushing and a couple of TDs.  The Falcons kept Drew Brees in check, limiting him to 230 yards and a couple of short TD passes. 

In his Chicago Tribune article on Monday, Dan Pompei wrote of the Saints’ offensive gameplan against the Falcons:

"They started to play more like a cold-weather team Sunday, however. The Falcons had been expecting the pass-happy Saints, as any reasonable observer would have."

I’m not sure that I buy into the idea that the Saints were in some way preparing for their third straight late-season visit to a frigid Chicago, but rather think that they took what the Falcons were giving.  In an earlier meeting this season, Brees hung over 400 passing yards on the Falcons.  Ever think the Falcons D was conceding the run to stop the pass, Dan?  If you’d like to read the whole article, check it out here.

Some story lines that will be interesting to follow this week:

  • Third time’s a charm?  Saints coming back to Chicago after consecutive seaosn-ending losses to the Bears. 
  • Former Purdue QB’s Drew Brees and Kyle Orton set to do battle. 
  • The continued proliferation of the “Bear weather” myth with another frigid game on deck
  • Bear fans should also be keeping a close eye on the status of the players involved in the StarCaps scandal.  Besides the Williams boys and the impact it could have on the Vikings playoff chances, there are three Saints players that could be sitting if the suspensions are upheld.