CHICAGO - NOVEMBER 28: Head coach Lovie Smith of the Chicago Bears watches as his team takes on the Philadelphia Eagles at Soldier Field on November 28, 2010 in Chicago, Illinois. The Bears defeated the Eagles 31-26. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images) *** Local Caption *** Lovie Smith
With three games left in the season, it's time to talk about the playoffs, Bears fans. Chicago can clinch on Monday night, saving their boss' job and getting the team to the postseason for the first time since 2006.
The scenario is simple. If the Packers lose and the Bears win this weekend, the Bears are the NFC North champions. A Packers loss is a real possibility, as Green Bay is headed to New England to face the Patriots, the same Patriots who just throttled the Bears. There is a chance that the Pack will have to play without Aaron Rodgers, as their star quarterback sustained a concussion in Sunday's loss to the Lions.
A Bears win over the Vikings seems like a simple matter. Not only did the Bears beat the the Vikings 27-13 during week 10, but Minnesota is having severe quarterback issues. Brett Favre ended his 297-consecutive-game streak before Monday's loss to the Giants with a busted-up shoulder. Back-up QB Tarvaris Jackson had troubles on Monday night with turf toe. But nothing is guaranteed in the NFL.
If the Bears can pull this off, they will have pulled off an impressive feat: saving Lovie Smith's job. Heading into the season, his seat was on fire. Over the last three years, the Bears had become a mediocre franchise, even as the team went out and spent money on free agents. Even with the lows of this season -- the loss to the Patriots was particularly horrible -- no one would have guessed that the Bears would be 9-4 and on the verge of winning the NFC North at this point. With just one win and one loss, Smith's seat is cold as it is outside.