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Hindsight: Bears Had Chance To Prevent Playoffs

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Hindsight: Bears Had Chance To Prevent Playoffs

The last thing Packers fans want to do right now is imagine life without the playoffs. But a very, very interesting hypothetical existed on Sunday night that could have taken the Packers-Bears rivalry to a whole other level.

With the Bears down 10-3 on their final drive of the game that ended with only 10 seconds left on the clock, I received a tweet from follower Chris Geary:

Lovie is gonna go for the two point dagger. Why not?

It's official, the Packers secured a playoff berth, but let's go to the Land of Make Believe just for a moment.

The Bears had nothing to play for. They had already secured a first-round bye and earning home-field advantage throughout the playoffs was no longer a possibility.

To that extent, it's amazing the Bears played their starters the entire game to begin with. History has shown most teams wouldn't have done that. It's a credit to Bears head coach Lovie Smith and the NFL for scheduling intra-division contests the last week of the season, but that's a story for another time.

Had the Bears scored on their final drive with less than a minute remaining, what was stopping them from going for a two-point conversion and winning the game 11-10? Absolutely nothing.

The Bears had nothing to lose. It certainly could be argued that tying the game and sending it into overtime would have been counterproductive by making the game even longer and putting your players in a position where they may get fatigued and hurt.

When Smith was introduced as the Bears head coach and stated that goal no. 1 was to beat the Packers, is there any doubt he would have gone for the jugular and prevent any chance the Packers had of going to the playoffs?

Just for one second, imagine the Bears scored the winning touchdown, went for two and beat the Packers. Imagine that sickness in the pit of your stomach. Feel that bad taste in the back of your throat. Envision that empty feeling and the depression you'd have right now.

Okay, snap out of it. It didn't happen. The Packers are in the playoffs and everything is right in the world.

But remember that feeling. If, for even a fleeting second, you ever feel sympathy for the Bears if and when they're eliminated from the playoffs–don't.

The Bears are a team that would have showed no mercy. The Packers should give them none in return.

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Fan friendly comments only: off Comments (38) This filter will hide comments which have ratio of 5 to 1 down-vote to up-vote.

Aaron's picture

Yup, I was saying the same thing to my wife when they were driving down. I knew he was gonna go for the 2 pointer if they made the TD.

Morli's picture

I really start to like your stuff, Brian!!

Ken at UWM's picture

Great points. I had assumed the Bears would go for two as well, just to prevent OT. And I'm sure they would've had a call better than Paul Chryst's.

Have to admit, I never respected Lovie before yesterday. I sure do now.

What a great win. Nothing ugly about clinching a playoff berth.

CSS's picture

Foresight: Does anybody on any level trust Jay Cutler in the playoffs when he starts seeing faster, more aggressive playoff defenses?

Aaron's picture

Cutler is good, but I think you're right. He's gonna get shalacked in the playoffs especially since this is his first time.

CSS's picture

But when he's bad, he's bad at the worst possible time. Not just your, "I threw that into too tight of a window", garden variety interceptions; but, "I'm going to heave this ball downfield, consequences be damned."

His bad is painfully stupid bad.

Aaron's picture

Yeah, don't you love it?

CSS's picture

Actually yes, yes I do. Why? Because he has the, "that's the way I play the game" attitude and I don't believe it will change throughout the course of his career.

In today's NFL, you go deep into the playoffs with good QB play. That ain't Cutler.

hyperRevue's picture

I continually ask this question, but the answer still eludes me: how can anyone root for Jay Cutler? His bone-headed interceptions notwithstanding, he just acts like such a spoiled prick on the field. He's always acting like anything that goes wrong is someone else's fault.

Aaron's picture

Do you think a non-Packer fan would hear our talk about Cutler and his propensity for slinging and bring up Favre?

hyperRevue's picture

I'm sure they would, but that's not really the crux of my criticism. It's an attitude thing for me.

Mark's picture

Jay Cutler is the denon spahn of Brett Favre.

PackersRS's picture

Did anybody trust Sexy Rexy in the playoffs in 06?

Aaron's picture

The Bears did.

PackersThad's picture

OK, you saved the article in the end! Because I was going to have to ask you, "Why would you say these things???!!" even though we were all thinking it as they were driving down the field.

And secondly, if Lovie would've been hesitant about going for two, you definitely know that Cutler would've wanted to do it.

foundinidaho's picture

I hate Lovie Smith. And Jay Cutler.

Chad Toporski's picture

Hate is such a strong word... but sometimes it's just not strong enough.

;-)

Bearmeat's picture

I hate Brian Urlacher! Did you see his postgame quote? It was something to the effect of "This game didn't matter to us. We didn't lose anything. They had to fight to get in and we were already in."
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What a load of utter crap! This from the SAME guy that said "it would be really great to be the first NFC North team to sweep the division, and we don't want them (GB) in the playoffs anway!"
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TOOL!

foundinidaho's picture

Oh, yeah, I hate Hurtlocker too. Forgot that one.

zub's picture

No question in my mind, the Bears would have gone for 2

hyperRevue's picture

That whole final drive (and, really, the whole 2nd half) I was cursing Lovie for being petty and spiteful for keeping his starters in. But, in the end, I would have wanted the Packers to do the exact same thing if the roles were reversed. Respect for Lovie for not mailing it in.

Jer's picture

Did any of the press actually ask Lovie if he'd have gone for 2 had they scored? I know it was on the mind of about a million Packer fans. It would seem like an obvious question to ask.

PackersRS's picture

I was thinking the exact same thing, Brian, when they were driving. If they had scored, no doubt they'd have gone for 2.

Flikery's picture

It took me a while to get to this conclusion as well. I saw the Bears driving and I thought they had called it quits with how much time they were taking between plays. No pace, just usual speed. Right towards the end, I realized they didn't need two scores - they were draining the clock so if their two point conversion hit we wouldn't have time to drive back! Luckily Collins settled me down shortly after my personal epiphany. Go Pack Go!

norman's picture

Brian,
Great minds think alike: see my comment on the Chips Report last night re. Bears going for two. Would Cutler have pulled a Tolzien and had the pass knocked down? Fortunately we never had to find out, thanks to Mr. Collins (who damn it, should have just taken a knee after the pick, especially against that team!).

D.D. Driver's picture

Yeah, the Bears probably should have gone for two. I think teams should go for two more often. The Packers should have gone for two against the Redskins. Overtime sucks.

Bad Knees's picture

Um, anyone notice we won a close on against a good team? Another monkey vanquished. Rogers is a legitimate top 5 qb. Next up, a playoff win.

Bad Knees's picture

Whoever is in charge of maintaining the playing surface at Lambeau should be given a bonus. The surface was perfect.

hyperRevue's picture

And no one got hurt!

Chris's picture

I totally expected the Bears to go for two points if the scored. Heck, why not? It would have been the right thing to do.

And of course I would have been sick in my stomach if it worked, but not because of the Bears, but because of the Packers not being able to win a home game against, in my opinion, a mediocre team. It's a professional sport, and I expect every team to try and win every game. And I have deepest respect for Lovie Smith (most of us give credit to Bilichick too, right?),

And now I hope the Pack gets to the NFC championship game in Chicago and beat the crap out of that lousy Bears team. But hey, the Bears probably won't make it there anyway. :-)

Ruppert's picture

This is all good stuff. But where was all this in 2006 when Lovie pulled everybody and we crushed them?

Still seems odd to me that he'd do a 180 in 4 years' time, especially when that 2006 tactic resulted in a Super Bowl berth. Is it all because he's scared to see the Pack again in the playoffs? Sorry, but I don't buy that.

And why is it perfectly normal to crush your rival NOW when he had the chance to leave us with a losing record and put a stamp on the fact that the Bears were a superior team in 2006? I just don't understand.

The conspiracy theorist in me wonders if the league didn't suggest that no teams rest guys as a bargaining ploy. "Why not go to 18 games...we had ZERO teams resting guys this year with 16...there won't be any more meaningless games with an 18 game schedule." Far-fetched, to be sure. Not likely the case. But I still don't get why the Bears didn't rest guys yesterday, to be totally honest.

Dice's picture

You really didn't have to tell me to imagine the Bears getting the TD and going for two and making it. I already had that pit in my stomach because close games this year have been pure torture. I think I was smiling for the next 5 hours straight after that INT.

hyperRevue's picture

"First time in the post-season in the post-Brett Favre era."

Can someone please fact-check SI.com?

http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/video/nfl/2011/01/02/010211.perloff_pac...

cow42's picture

for the first time in 13 or so years i was completely confident that the D was not going let the game deciding drive end up in the end zone.

the feeling of confidence was extremely comforting.

aaaaahhhhhhhh.

BigbyATTACK's picture

Okay, I know he would've gone for 2. BUT...you know what makes me smile? When idiot Lovie called the timeout juuuuuust before the ball was snapped and they "would've" gotten the big first down. Bwah-ha ha ha!

FITZCORE1252's picture

If my Aunt had nutz she would be my Uncle.

GBP 4 LIFE

packerwest's picture

On the timeout call Capers had 3 man rush again which never seems to work!Thank you Lovie for calling the timeout. First down otherwise and could have cost the Pack the game...

Overkill's picture

Not sure what Smith was thinking, but possibly that if he didn't knock Green Bay off while the knocking was good, he'd run into 'em again.

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