Mike Mulligan at the Chicago Sun-Times makes a debatable point about what the Bears should do with their last two games:
“The battle cry might be that winning the division title is just one step, but you can’t help but wonder if you might be able to find a shortcut to the Super Bowl by settling on the No. 3 seed and calling it a day on the 2010 regular season.
“Yes, it is a great betrayal of the integrity of the league and might leave an indelible stain on the franchise. It also might work out just fine.”
I know that there are always health concerns when it comes to playing football games. Most coaches believe that you keep your guys healthy and rest them before the playoffs whenever you can. I understand that. But I think Mulligan might be taking it a bit far in this case.
Before the season began I said that this year was going to be one where self-improvement was going to be the theme. At the time I thought the Bears would have eight wins. But the fact that they’ve got more than that and are on their way to the playoffs doesn’t change my opinion. They need to continue to improve if they are going to make a deep playoff run.
New England taught us that the defensive backs need to get better, particularly in man coverage. There are young defensive linemen that need to improve if they are going to take maximum advantage of Julius Pepper‘s presence. And more than anything else the offensive line has to continue to develop technique and work toward attaining better cohesiveness. Dan Pompei at the Chicago Tribune did his weekly film review and also found a number of aspects of the Bears play against the Vikings that need to be cleaned up.
Three weeks is forever in the NFL. All of these things and more need to continue to improve and they can do so dramatically if the team continues to put the correct amount of effort into the games they have left. If they are going to be able to look in the mirror after the year is over and be able to say that did everything they could and played their best when it counted, that’s what they have to do.