CHICAGO, IL - DECEMBER 26: Rashied Davis #81 of the Chicago Bears celebrates a special team tackle against the New York Jets at Soldier Field on December 26, 2010 in Chicago, Illinois. The Bears defeated the Jets 38-34. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images) *** Local Caption *** Rashied Davis
Are the Bears the luckiest team in football? Take a look at the season.
-- In the first game of the season, a Lions touchdown that would have given Detroit the win was called back on an iffy call on an obscure rule. The Bears won 19-14.
-- Jay Cutler was sacked nine times and knocked out of the Giants game with a concussion. He missed the next game, but the Bears still won their next game. It was against the Panthers, one of the worst teams in football.
-- In their first meeting, the Bears caught the Vikings in disarray, just days before head coach Brad Childress was fired. In their second meeting, hobbled quarterback Brett Favre decided to play on game day, and was knocked out by Corey Wootton's first-ever NFL sack. Chicago took both games.
-- As the season neared an end and playoff scenarios began to unfold, the Bears were helped out by the divisional rival, the Vikings. Minnesota's win over the Eagles clinched Chicago a first-round bye.
-- Chicago seemed destined to rematch with the Eagles, but two upsets on wildcard weekend paved the way for the Bears to play the only postseason team with a losing record, the Seahawks.
-- The Bears are the healthiest team in football. When teams like the Packers are struggling to keep their starters on the field, the Bears are (knock on wood throw salt spit twice) expected to be at full-strength on Sunday.
For one, it's not all luck. Several of the penalties that were called on the Packers were for false starts that Julius Peppers caused. The Bears were smart enough to take advantage of the Vikings in disarray, and they were only in a position to clinch the second seed because they had an excellent second half of the season. And health isn't completely due to luck. It's also due to smart usage of players and a good strength and conditioning program.
And so what if the Bears have a streak of luck? Will anyone care about that if they hoist the Lombardi Trophy? Years from now, no one will call the Bears lucky. They'll only call them "champs."