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Flashback: Bears Remember 2008

The team is looking to change their fate on Sunday in the hunt for a playoff berth

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    NEWSLETTERS

    The Bears can't afford to have history repeat itself in their hunt for a playoff berth on Sunday.

    On Dec. 28, 2008 the Bears had a whirlwind of playoff scenarios that needed to fall into place to get into the playoffs.

    Tampa Bay needed to lose to Oakland, they did. Cowboys would have to lose to the Eagles, they did.

    All the Bears needed was their 10th win by beating the Houston Texans on the road and they were in the playoffs.  They didn't. 

    Instead, the Bears crumbled, losing a 14-point lead and surrendering 21 unanswered points to Texans quarterback Matt Schaub who had a career game. 

    Bears linebacker Lance Briggs remembers it all too well. He especially remembers getting the updates on other games on the sidelines from team personnel.  

    "Too much looking to see what other teams were doing rather than keeping the Texans out of the end zone," Briggs recalled. "They left that season with a nice taste in their mouths and left us with a sour taste in ours."

    It was a career killer for Danieal Manning, whose lasting impression was chasing Andre Johnson, and Bob Babich, who would lose his job as defensive coordinator. Safety Mike Brown ended his career in Chicago on injured reserve, and Rex Grossman, who would leave the quarterback job in Chicago to Kyle Orton.

    What if the Bears had won that game four years ago?  Would so many jobs be on the line today?  Bears head coach Lovie Smith admitted the 2008 game has been brought up already in meeting rooms.

    "We're familiar with it and we'll be ready to go," Smith said. "We're not back to '08 an awful lot." 

    They don't need to.  It's still fresh in everyone's mind.

    There will be no scoreboard watching or team personnel looking for scores on the sideline today. This time the Bears have the early game with the Vikings kicking off later in the afternoon.  

    First and foremost the Bears have to win.

    "We have to take care of business and win," Lovie Smith acknowledged. "It's on us and our players are aware of that." 

    Back in 2008 the Vikings had a last second field goal win which likely would've taken the Bears playoff spot away anyway.  The Bears can win this one, and at least hope the Vikings history doesn't repeat.