There is never any rest for the wicked. No retribution or validation for those who are purportedly above the fray. No pit stops for those in an eternal gridlock. For the select few that would be designated as the cream of the crop, whatever the “rest” is, is only a tease. Every week is a pass-fail test with no grey area, no leniency, no breathing room. You either succeed or you fail. There’s no such thing as a moral victory, because moral victories have no substance and have no material benefits.
As the Bears prepare for a date with the upstart Panthers, it’s important they remember what’s at stake. A team that fancies itself a contender can’t afford any missteps against opponents they’re supposed to beat. Contenders don’t lose 50-50 games. Heavyweights play well and play to the best of their ability often when it matters most.
The Panthers, led by a sharp Teddy Bridgewater, present another pass-fail test for the Bears. If the Bears are to be a factor in January, and perhaps beyond, Bridgewater’s true or false questions surmount little challenge to them. If they’re a pretender, the short answers and essay questions bog them down to a point of irrelevance. And Bridgewater’s bunch will not be offering opportunities for extra credit.
Moral victories mean nothing in a playoff race. The Bears, littered with veteran stars like Khalil Mack and Akiem Hicks, would be wise to drill that into their psyches as the real trials of the 2020 season lie ahead. There’s no slowing down from here. It’s full speed ahead.
Windy City Gridiron’s picks for Bears-Panthers (and every other NFL game this weekend).
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