Bears try to temper Super thoughts

LAKE FOREST, Ill. -- Whichever direction the road through the NFC takes, the Chicago Bears want to make sure there’s a stop or two at Soldier Field.

That’s the team's plan moving forward, linebacker Brian Urlacher said, because “no one wants to come here in January and February, whenever the playoffs are. Home-field advantage is pretty good at Solider Field.”

At 8-3 with their destiny firmly in hand, the Bears are tied with the New Orleans Saints for the second-best record in the NFC. The club hasn’t hosted a postseason contest since the NFC Championship on Jan. 21, 2007.

But the Bears know they can’t get too far ahead of themselves.

“Man, I don’t know. I’m just licking my chops,” linebacker Lance Briggs said. “It has been a long time, and just to feel the atmosphere of what it was like to go through that playoff week again … you know, to have the opportunity to have it here in Chicago is huge. I think that’s really what we’re fighting for, is to make everyone come to Chicago, and make the Super Bowl come through here.”

First, the Bears need to take care of the Detroit Lions on Sunday at Ford Field. Urlacher said the club is taking a one-game-at-a-time approach, but is encouraged by the way the team has improved every week since the Oct. 31 bye.

“We think [about] the Super Bowl,” Urlacher said. “We’d like to think that. First, we’ve got to try and beat Detroit and then whoever’s after that. You’ve got to take it one step in the division and then whatever playoffs you make, and then you’ve got to try and get to the NFC Championship.

"We think we’re pretty good. We’re getting better every week, which is what you want to do this late in the season, and we’ve done that. We want to secure a playoff spot, No. 1. We would like to have home-field advantage if we can get it. Those dome teams they don’t want to be here.”

Bears coach Lovie Smith cautioned Wednesday against his team getting caught up in all the recent Super Bowl talk, saying “there’s no time to talk about that now.”

“We won’t look too far ahead,” he said. “You can’t run from it, and we don’t want them to run from it. But you don’t talk about that now. We’ve had the same tone each week: individual improvement, trying to do what we need to do to win this week. That won’t change with our guys, and I’d be surprised if you heard anything else except for that. The guys know what’s at stake.”