Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Patriots weather Bears weather, bear down on down Bears

Week 14: Patriots 36, Bears 7

*Title courtesy of Chris Kawakita

Man, losing sucks. I almost forgot how much it sucks. After all, the Bears hadn't lost since October. That is, until they got buried under the avalanche that is the New England Patriots. Good Lord.

What I learned most from that game is that the Patriots have a REALLY good chance of winning the Super Bowl. The last two weeks they played a 9-2 team and a 9-3 team, respectively, and won both by a combined score of 81-10. That sh-t ain't right. You're supposed to have to rely on the running game, field position and clock management to win when there's a f--king blizzard taking place, but the Patriots didn't care. You get the feeling they could play a game at the bottom of the Atlantic Ocean and put up 35 points.

As far as the Bears are concerned, I'm choosing to forget that game ever happened. Or at least try. That game was like a colonoscopy: fate demanded that it take place, there's nothing we could do about it. But it's over now, and let's not think about it any more. "A colonoscopy? No, I've never had a colonoscopy. I definitely have no idea what that feels like."

Yes, let's focus on the BIG picture, because if that game was the little picture, it was kind of like looking at a picture of a nice old lady getting eaten by a crocodile. But the BIG picture is beautiful, because while the Bears' offense was snowed out on Sunday, the playoff picture cleared up considerably with Green Bay's surprising loss to Detroit. All of a sudden, it's possible the Bears could clinch the NFC North next week. If the Packers lose to these same Patriots on Sunday night and the Bears beat the Vikings Monday night, the Bears will have clinched the division by virtue of the tiebreaker, which is one's record within the division. Even if the Packers win out, the Bears can win the division simply by winning their next two, against Minnesota and the very vulnerable Jets.

It was such a bad day on the field for the Bears, and yet in a way it was a very good day for them overall, as they are now in complete control of the divisional race. Put it this way: for the Packers to win the division, they need to win out and have the Bears lose two of their final three games. Otherwise, we'll be tuning in to the NFL playoffs to watch the NFC North Champion Chicago Bears.

On top of that, Aaron Rodgers suffered his second concussion of the season in that loss to the Lions. Such a serious injury weakens the Packers at the very least; it may end their season.

And now it's time for today's depressing STAT OF THE DAY. Cutler had a chance on Sunday to make it three straight games without an interception, something he's never done in his career. That's right: he's never had a three-game stretch with no picks. And alas, that's still the case. Two picks for Cutler, giving him 10 on the season. That's not terrible, though--his career-low is 14. And that was today's less-than-thrilling STAT OF THE DAY.

'Til next week, when the Bears can potentially redeem themselves for an absolutely atrocious performance against the Patriots. The 33-0 halftime deficit was the worst in franchise history, but they may be able to make that game history if things fall their way in Week 15. Here's hoping that come next Monday night, Brett Favre is as banged up as the Metrodome (but that he still plays, because frankly the Vikings are worse off with Favre than Tarvaris Jackson). Speaking of the Metrodome, news right now is that the game might be played there, but might be played outdoors and nearby University of Minnesota if the dome isn't ready.

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