Let the debate begin. With the Eagles loss last night the Bears have clinched a first round bye in the playoffs. They still have a shot at the number 1 seed and home field advantage throughout the playoffs but it is remote. Should they rest their starters?
I’m going to make a guess here and say that as long as there is something to play for, Lovie Smith won’t do this. The Falcons and the Saints both play at noon. If either of them wins, the Bears have no chance at improving their seed and the backups play most of the contest. Otherwise we may have a legitimate game to watch.
Dan Pompei contrasts the state of the Packers with the Bears going into the game at Green Bay. He goes through some of the reasons why the Packers have survived through an incredible number of injuries to still have a shot at the playoffs:
“(head coach Mike) McCarthy, who has done an outstanding job with this team, is a candidate for coach of the year.”
“If you do things the right way, you stay true to your processes, your training, your fundamentals, you will have an opportunity to win every game,’ he said. ‘I think we’ve done that this year. We’ve played at a pretty consistent level regardless of all the challenges. I believe in the program. I have an excellent coaching staff.”
“The Packers had an easier time overcoming some of their adversity because they have quarterback Aaron Rodgers, who McCarthy calls the best player on the team and one of the best in the league.”
Good coaching, good talent and depth. These are really important. But McCarthy in my opinion leaves the best reason for last:
“(We have) a very healthy locker room as far as character and work ethic.”
Nothing happens in the NFL or anywhere else without character. The Packers fought like lions against the odds all year to scratch their way to the opportunity that presents itself this weekend. Collectively they’ve got as much in the way of pure guts as any team in the league and the deserve all of the credit and respect that a Bear fan can give.