Sunday, December 21, 2008
Black and Blue all over: Wild-card musings
By Kevin Seifert
Posted by ESPN.com's Kevin Seifert
Chicago nabbed a small victory of sorts Saturday night, as Baltimore pulled out a 33-24 victory over Dallas.
That result kept alive the Bears' long odds of clinching an NFC wild-card berth. But from what I can tell, the Bears will either be eliminated Sunday from the wild-card chase or the NFC North division race. UPDATE: Technically, the Bears will NOT be eliminated from the wild-card by a Falcons victory in itself. There are a couple of scenarios in which they could remain alive.
In order to remain in contention for the division title, the Bears need Atlanta to defeat Minnesota at the Metrodome. But a Falcons LOSS is one of several scenarios the Bears might need to stay in the wild-card race. In wild-card terms, they also need:
- A Tampa Bay loss to San Diego at home.
- A Philadelphia loss at Washington.
To secure a wild-card berth, the Bears would also need to win their final two games and get losses from the Buccaneers, Cowboys and Falcons next week as well.
So, as everyone has pointed out all along, the Bears' best postseason chance remains overtaking the Vikings for the division title. If you're a Bears fan Sunday, you're saying, "GO FALCONS."
Continuing our morning dance around the division:
- Brad Biggs of the Chicago Sun-Times takes a broad look at how the Bears found themselves needing so much hope to get into the playoffs. One reason: Three come-from-ahead losses to NFC South powerhouses Carolina, Tampa Bay and Atlanta.
- New Green Bay punter Jeremy Kapinos has been briefed on the troubles encountered by former Packers punter Jon Ryan last season at Soldier Field, writes Tom Silverstein of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.
- Packers offensive lineman Daryn Colledge on his feelings toward quarterbacks Aaron Rodgers and Brett Favre: "We're all more emotionally involved with Aaron than we were with Brett. The fact is, Aaron's a friend. I think I'm more emotionally invested in our relationship than I ever was with Brett." Jason Wilde of the Wisconsin State Journal asked the question.
- Drew Sharp of the Detroit Free Press picks the Lions to upset New Orleans at Ford Field.
- The Lions wanted to acquire free agent linebacker Jonathan Vilma during the offseason, writes John Niyo of the Detroit News. But the Saints beat them to it.