The last month and a half has been brutal for Bears fans. Watching our team drop from 7-1 to 8-6 has been painful to watch and seeing key guys miss games makes it all the worse. Adding insult to all that injury we've seen division rivals Minnesota and Green Bay start playing their best football and beat the Bears.
While many are jamming the phone lines on Chicago sports radio and calling for Lovie's head or for a trade to get rid of Jay Cutler or whatever else, I am here to say "take a deep breath and relax."
This is do or die time, literally for the Bears and Lovie Smith.
Smith knows his time in Chicago is running thin. He knows he has to get results in order to keep his job. We've seen in the past that this is often the time when Lovie is at his best.
Smith is as good as any coach on selling his players on the "nobody believes in us" and playing the disrespect cards. His guys should be ready to play and for what may be the fifth straight game, this is a must-win for Chicago.
But sure, Lovie is one thing, history is a whole other.
Do you realize that four of the last five Super Bowls had a team in it that was one of the last teams into the postseason? Not only that but last two Super Bowls were won by teams who got in on the last day of the season?
Everyone has been talking about the Giants of last year and I am sure most of you know the story by heart. The Giants were at 7-7 with two games to go and everyone was counting them out and their coach getting ready for a pink slip. The Giants rallied, won their last two games and won the NFC East on the last day of the season and then rode that momentum all the way to a Super Bowl victory.
The year before that is similar to that. In 2010, the Green Bay Packers were 8-6 with two games to go. They won their last two games and beat the Bears in week 17 to get into the playoffs, where they went on the road three straight weeks and won the Super Bowl.
Going all the way back to 2008, the Arizona Cardinals found themselves also at 8-6 with two games left. They actually went 1-1 in their last two games (the loss being a 47-7 drubbing by New England) but still won their awful division at 9-7 and at the time, you may remember, people didn't expect them to win a postseason game. In fact, this was two years before the 7-9 Seahawks would win a playoff game but people were saying Arizona didn't deserve a postseason berth. The Cardinals hosted two playoff games and went on the road and beat down the heavily favored Carolina Panthers en route to a Super Bowl loss to the Steelers.
These teams all had the decks stacked against them. Their players, their coaches were all getting raked over the coals by the media. When no one believed in them, they did what many thought was impossible.
Football is a game of momentum. I believe that playing three playoff games (versus earning a bye) is beneficial in today's NFL. The Bears are a team built to get turnovers on defense and set up the offense to score. The Bears haven't had turnovers come to them as easily as they did at the beginning of the season but I think that momentum can change in these next two games.
The Cardinals and the Lions both have turnover-prone offenses, the Bears can thrive on that and get their mojo back. A few short field TDs for the offense could help get them rolling too. All they have to do is get into the playoffs, where anything can happen.
So don't write the Bears off yet, they could very well prove all of us wrong and end up going farther than any of believe.