John Clayton has put down the three things that must happen for each team to win. Here is what he has the Bears needing to do. Not all unfamiliar, but it is something to read.
The Bears will win if ...
- Rex Grossman plays four quarters and doesn't screw it up. Other than Eli Manning, no quarterback in the playoffs has been under as much scrutiny as Grossman. Despite his hot start to the season, Grossman has been horrible lately. He found a way to top his 1.3 quarterback rating against the Vikings in Week 13 by posting a 0.0 rating in the season finale against the Packers. Fans want him benched. Lovie Smith continues to support him but it's pretty evident a bad start could earn him the quick hook. Brian Griese's had a couple of tune-up appearances in the final two weeks so he's ready. Bears fans will never forgive Smith if he leaves in Grossman for another clunker.
- Nobody mentions the name Tommie Harris. Face it, the Bears interior defense isn't the same without Harris, a Pro Bowl defensive tackle and one of the most disruptive inside forces in the league. Harris' season-ending knee injury left the Bears defensive tackle rotation without much size or depth. They have to limit Alexander to 80 or less yards. If they seal in the inside running lanes and force the Seahawks into more of passing game that matches up well with the Bears defensive speed. If the Bears can do that, they will win.
- They can get a hot receiver or tight end. The Cowboys weren't able to do that against the Seahawks. No one caught more than four passes and the Cowboys never really got their passing game going. The Bears need a 100-yard game from either Muhsin Muhammad or Bernard Berrian. Berrian was the hot Bear in the first game against Seattle, catching three passes for 108 yards, including a touchdown. A hot receiver will give Grossman confidence and it will open up the field for the running attack. The Bears could also use some help from tight end Desmond Clark, who had 45 catches and was tied for the team lead with six touchdown receptions.