Great news, everybody! We didn't lose yesterday!
Yeah, okay, so it was a bye week. But it could have been worse. We could have played. And lost. And then Jay Cutler would have said something about how he has a good reason for all those interceptions, but we're too slow to understand. And then we'd cue up our "Super Bowl Shuffle" tapes and get drunk and remind ourselves of yesteryear.
The real question is whether the Bears can make it into the playoffs. The white hot NFC South may gobble up both wild card slots so our best shot to make it to the postseason is by winning the division. Let's take a look at Sunday's results and gauge our panic level.
Packers: Green Bay slogged their way through an unwatchable game with the Jets. If you haven't heard, the New York Jets are the greatest football team ever assembled. They say so. (Hear Coach Ryan's unique profanity-laden motivational tactics here.) No one can argue how great the Jets are. No one. It's like Hercules had 53 babies with Xena and they slapped green helmets on their tribe. And the Packers shut them out.
Do you understand? This is like a plywood shack standing up to Hurricane Ditka. This is like Feivel Mousekewitz throwing an uppercut to the Predator. This is like Alvin Greene beating a far more qualified candidate. Okay, bad example.
But the Packers just smacked down one of the best teams in the league. They're riddled with injuries, but the defense is playing out of its mind. And they're not going to give us much breathing room in a race to the NFC North crown.
Panic Level: You're punching the brakes on an iced-over Dan Ryan and your car refuses to slow down. Also, you're about to plow directly into a cement mixer filled with lava zombies.
Vikings: Brett Favre continues to leave games looking more and more like some crumpled origami frog. He needed Ryan Longwell to carry his helmet at the end of the Packer game and he needed to be wheeled off the field against the Patriots. If he's sending any pictures of his junk now, he's probably having to do some heavy-duty photoshopping to remove the bruises. The defense hasn't had a sack in three games. They're 2-5 and look completely lost. The Vikings may be loaded with talent, but so was Dokken. And we haven't heard much from Dokken lately, have we? (Aside from this, which is genius.)
Panic Level: Your mom shows up unannounced and your place is kind of a mess, but she loves you unconditionally, so it's no big deal.
Lions: If the refs didn't gift-wrap the first game of the year, we'd be tied with the Lions at 3-4. Let that sink in. We're not entirely worried because their two victories have been easily explainable. The Rams aren't exactly world beaters and the Redskins decided to throw Rex Grossman in the game. I'd say the 'Skins threw in the towel, but a towel is a more competent QB than Rex Grossman. Still, the Lions have Matthew Stafford back. Calvin Johnson is a beast. And that defensive line looks like it could be trouble. It's unlikely they could challenge for the division title, but we can't expect them to toss us their annual pair of surrenders anymore.
Panic Level: Your baby sister is waving a lit candle near the drapes. No fire yet, but there may be smoke.
We're almost halfway through the season and we're still in the hunt. That's key. But over the last two games, the Bears lost and the Packers won. The NFC at large seems to be bunched together with mediocre teams. Aside from the godawful Cowboys and Panthers, all these teams could contend for playoff spots. Let's just hope Lovie patched up the O-line and Jay cleared any residual cobwebs in the bye week. We've got to fight through the Dolphins, Eagles, Patriots and Jets before ending the season in Green Bay. It looks like there's plenty of panic to go around.