Things that Kept Chicago Bears from Getting Home-Field Advantage
We’re only a week removed from the devastating loss in the NFC Wild Card round, and Chicago Bears fans are still recovering from the hangover. Yes, the Bears did greatly exceed expectations this season and opened the eyes of many opposing teams. However, even with the unexpected fortune, Chicago could have been in a much better position this postseason had they won at least one more game in the regular season.
As we all know, the Bears finished 2018 with a 12-4 record, which earned them the third seed in the NFC. The two teams ranked ahead of them were the New Orleans Saints and the Los Angeles Rams, who were first and second in the conference respectively. The Saints and Rams had identical records of 13-3. Chicago’s No. 3 seed kept them from getting a much-needed first-round bye in the playoffs, something both New Orleans and Los Angeles received.
Coincidently, had the Bears managed to win just one more game, they would have not only had a 13-3 record as well, but they would have also been rewarded the No. 1 seed in the NFC with a first-round bye and home-field advantage throughout the playoffs.
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Having an identical record with the Saints and Rams would have made a three-way tie, but Chicago had the tiebreaker over both teams. The Bears’ 10-2 record against NFC opponents was better than New Orleans’ 9-3 conference record, so that would’ve given Chicago that tiebreaker. As for L.A., the Bears’ win over the Rams in Week 14 would have taken care of that tiebreaker.
After looking back at Chicago’s four losses on the season, there are many things to point the blame at. In their four defeats, the Bears loss by one point to the Green Bay Packers, three points to the Miami Dolphins, seven points to the New England Patriots, and three points to the New York Giants (losing by an average of 3.5 points per game).
Of course, in their playoff loss, everyone initially directed all blame on kicker Cody Parkey. However, an earlier post on this site pointed out other things that cost the Bears from advancing in the postseason. Instead of dwelling on what Chicago could’ve done to beat the Philadelphia Eagles, let’s take a look at each loss they suffered this year, and see what kept them from getting that No. 1 seed in the NFC.