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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