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THE WINDY CITY WEEKLY: WITH DIVISION CLINCHED BEARS SHOOT FOR BYE WEEK
Posted By Kevin Scholla On Dec 26 2010 @ 3:20 am In Chicago | No Comments
They created web sites calling for Lovie Smith to be fired. Reporters wrote it wasn’t a matter of if he’d be let go, but when. The 0-4 preseason added fuel to the blazing fire under the coach’s hot seat. Well, guess what? He’s not going anywhere. Thank goodness.
Coach Smith has led the Bears to the playoffs three times now after Monday’s postseason clinching win over the Vikings. He has forged ahead through criticism from fans and the press. He was shrewd enough to realize when things weren’t working and wholeheartedly welcomed in Mike Martz and Rod Marinelli to give him a hand. Now after times when it looked like the Bears offensive line was one of the worst ever and that Jay Cutler wouldn’t survive the season, Smith is suddenly sitting pretty piloting these Monsters of the Midway into playoff football. Kudos to Lovie, a good man on and off the field.
Even though a postseason spot is all wrapped up the Bears have plenty to play for these next two regular season games. There is a huge difference between the two seed and the three seed. The Bears chances to go to the Super Bowl for the second time in five years will increase dramatically if they have to win one less game to do so.
If the Bears win out they are the two seed and will earn a bye week. If the Bears split however and Philadelphia wins out, the Eagles would earn the two. The Giants could also steal the second slot. The Bears have an outside shot at the one seed, but that would require an unforeseen meltdown in Atlanta. The Bears can be no worse than the three seed. Chicago could wrap up a bye tonight with a win and Philadelphia and Giants losses.
Today the Jets come to Soldier Field. Let me get this out of the way. The only feet I care about are those of Robbie Gould and Brad Maynard.
This should be a good one between two teams with championship aspirations. The Bears would love to put a victory on the board ahead of the Eagles game with Minnesota tonight. Mark Sanchez is expected to play for New York. The Bears hope to stay solid on defense and as effective as they were on offense against the Vikings.
Cutler says he intends to throw to Darrelle Revis’ side. Let’s just hope he doesn’t intend to throw to Darrelle Revis.
Here’s to your health. One of the major reasons for the Bears double digit mark in the win column this season is health. Chicago has stayed remarkably in tact. Quite the contrast in places like Green Bay, Minnesota, and Detroit where Rodgers, Favre, and Stafford among others, have had a painful 2010.
Devin Hester, Julius Peppers, and Brian Urlacher have all earned Pro Bowl selections. More honors may be heading the Bears’ way.
Former Bear Rex Grossman shined against Dallas last week throwing for over 300 yards and 4 touchdowns. Unfortunately for Grossman he can’t do much about the Redskins pathetic defense. The Cowboys won in a high scoring affair despite the efforts of the former Chicago signal caller.
The Bulls were very generous on Christmas, gift wrapping a win for the Knicks in New York. The refs certainly lent a hand too, but the Bulls have no one to blame but themselves for some ice cold stretches that allowed the very poorly coached Knicks to grab a win. It won’t be easy while Noah is on the shelf but Chicago will be just fine. The heated exchanged between Derrick Rose and Amare Stoudemire was a sight for sore eyes. It made me think of Scottie Pippen dunking over Patrick Ewing, MJ dropping a double nickle in his Garden return, Xavier McDaniel cursing out Phil Jackson. Re-energizing the Bulls-Knicks rivalry would be great for basketball.
Don’t look now but here come the Hawks. The Stanley Cup champs have posted three straight wins ahead of a little break from the ice. With banged up stars set to return the team is poised to really turn it on now that the season is about to “really” start. In fact, playing without some of the top scorers for some time may have actually been a blessing in disguise. Other players have had to step up their game in the absence of the likes of Kane and Hossa.
Bobby Jenks will not be going to the Hall of Fame, nor will he be remembered as one of the greats. But for all his imperfections, the big guy should be remembered fondly by White Sox fans. Jenks who signed with Boston earlier this month was one of the core guys onthe 2005 World Series winning club. I’ll always remember when Ozzie Guillen signaled to the bullpen by putting his arms out, referring to Jenks’ girth. Jenks did a commendable job in one of the toughest roles in sports and he never made excuses.
Chicago teams have really come through this Christmas season when it comes to charity. The Blackhawks delivered toys in Evanston’s pediatric wing, the White Sox and Guillen continue their great efforts to battle childhood cancer, the Bulls and Luol Deng provided meals to the hungry, and the Bears’ Peppers works tirelessly for Big Brothersand Big Sisters. Trust me, these are just a few examples of the wonderful work Chicago athletes are doing in the community at Christmastime and year round. A Beary Merry Christmas to all!
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