Is there cause for celebration in Chicago this Monday? Of course there is! The Bears defeated the St. Louis Rams on Sunday at Soldier Field 17-9 to bring their record to 5-7. After losing four games in a row, and six of their last seven, the Bears should be thrilled with a win; even if it did come against the weak 1-10 Rams.
Some cynics would like to say that the Bears should lose the rest of their games so that head coach Lovie Smith and General Manager Jerry Angelo get fired. The issue of firing Smith and Angelo has come up in numerous conversations, yet there is no truth to any of these rumors. So instead of hoping that losing brings change, let's hope that winning brings change. Change of mindset, change of attitude and change of faith.
If the Bears win out, they will finish with a 9-7 record, the same as last year. In today's NFC, a 9-7 record may get you into the playoffs. Granted, the Bears cursed themselves by losing to many potential NFC Wild Card teams, but with a quarter of the season left, strange things can happen. Every team currently battling for an NFC Wild Card berth is of the same caliber as the Bears. With a funny bounce of the pig skin this way or a missed tackle that way; the Bears could have beat the Atlanta Falcons, San Francisco 49ers or Philadelphia Eagles. Hey, at least they did beat the now 5-7 Seattle Seahawks.
Good teams do get the funny bounce or find a way to pull off the win in the last seconds, but the Bears are not what you would call a good team. No 5-7 team should be considered a good team, they are mediocre. And after a season as disappointing as this, I'll take mediocre. The NFL now days is about parity, ‘Any Given Sunday', as the saying goes. Last season the Bears needed improbable upsets by the Oakland Raiders and Philadelphia Eagles to help their season extend into the playoffs. They got those upsets, but lost in an upset themselves to the Houston Texans. Maybe this year, with the humbling experience of last year, they do win out, get a little help from others and sneak into the playoffs. Once in the playoffs, ‘Any Giv ...... you know how the saying goes.
A close win over the lowly Rams should not have anyone in Chicago thinking we are on our way to a stunning turnaround. However, confidence is a very powerful thing and can help this team beat Green Bay next week. The confidence that grows from beating the Packers should help in beating the Baltimore Ravens the week after; and so on and so on.
With no first round draft choice due to the Jay Cutler trade, there is no point for our Bears to lose games in hopes of finding the next great rookie prospect. Rather than feeling even more dejected about the '09 season, let's hope that the Broncos get as low a first round pick as possible. With the holidays upon us, maybe we should stop praying for loses that might eventually lead to two men losing their jobs. Let's hope for winning that's breeds confidence and pride. Our Bears may be a mediocre team, but they are high character men. They will give all they have for their team, fans and city. Shouldn't we fans do the same? As Bears fans, we wait eight long months between NFL seasons, should we just let the last quarter of this season fade away without even a care?