PHILADELPHIA, PA - NOVEMBER 7: Jay Cutler #6 of the Chicago Bears passes against the Philadelphia Eagles at Lincoln Financial Field on November 7, 2011 in Phildelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Scott Cunningham/Getty Images)
There's a little bit of a shake-up in the top 10 this week, but thankfully it's both behind the Bears, and because of them.
The big Chicago win against the Eagles on Monday Night Football pushed the Eagles to the ten spot, and gave them a very tough road to have any chance at all. The Bears now hold three big tiebreakers, and are looking at a chance to even the score this weekend against the Lions. It's a Bears team that is a far cry from the one the Lions faced a month ago, and hopefully Lovie & co. have a surprise in store for Schwartz.
Go beyond the jump for an interesting tidbit, the weekly rooting interests, and an unlikely scenario which puts yet more importance on winning the game against the Lions in a handsome fashion.
|1||1||Green Bay Packers||(8-0)||(6-0)||(2-0)||8W|
|2||2||San Francisco 49ers||(7-1)||(5-1)||(1-0)||6W|
|3||3||New York Giants||(6-2)||(3-2)||(1-1)||3W|
|4||4||New Orleans Saints||(6-3)||(3-3)||(2-1)||1W|
|9||7||Tampa Bay Buccaneers||(4-4)||(3-4)||(2-1)||2L|
The Bears are the only team in the NFC that has not faced an AFC opponent in 2011. Furthermore, they will not face one until November 20th when San Diego comes to town. While this tidbit doesn't serve much face value, it's interesting to note that the Packers and Lions are both 2-0 against the AFC West, and that's a pace that the Bears would be well served to keep up with.
The Bears now own the following tiebreakers:
That's the kind of thing you like to see at this point in the season.
Lions at BEARS - I shouldn't need to explain this one. If I do, well, quite frankly, I'm not even sure why you're here.
Vikings at Packers - I'm generally resigned to the Packers winning the division. However, them losing is something I can always get behind.
SAINTS at Falcons - We still want the Saints to win that division, due to their tiebreaker over the Bears. Additionally, if the Bears win, it puts a game between the teams, and if the Bears lose, it keeps the Bears at pace with them.
GIANTS at 49ers - I'll be honest--I don't recall what my justification for this one was. Break the spirit of the other teams in their division?
BILLS at Cowboys - the Cowboys are nipping at the Bears heels for that playoff spot right now, being 4-4. This extra distance would be nice against a team the Bears don't have a clean tiebreaker with.
TEXANS at Buccaneers - More distance between the Bears and the rest is always nice, and this will provide it.
An Odd Piece of Importance
Ok, so it's an improbable scenario, but hear me out. This is a reason for the Bears to want to be the fifth seed, and not just sneak into the playoffs.
In the incredibly unlikely scenario that the #6 seed were to beat both the #3 seed, and the #1 seed, AND, the #5 seed were to beat the #4 seed and the #2 seed, that would give the #5 seed homefield advantage in the NFCCG.
Like I said--unlikely, but with football, you just...never...know...