Every week here, I break down opposing teams’ strengths, weaknesses and statistical rankings in an attempt to rationalize why the Bears will or won’t have success against a particular team.
Most of the time, I royally suck at this.
For example, there’s the time I predicted…
- A low-scoring affair with the Jets, only to watch Mark Sanchez put 27 on the board against the vaunted Bears D (remember, 7 of the Jets 34 points came on an INT for a TD).
- The Vikings to defeat the Bears in Chicago. Enough said.
- A Bears win vs. the Redskins a week after they blew chunks at home against the Seahawks.
But now it’s playoff time. And instead of stepping up my research and analysis like any real, dedicated blogger would, I’m gonna get lazy.
Here are 8 completely emotional, perhaps even illogical, reasons why the Bears will beat the Seahawks in the Divisional Playoffs on Sunday.
#1. The Seahawks have a losing record.
The Bears can’t possibly lose at home in the playoffs to a team that just cracked the 8-win plateau last week. The only way they can earn a winning record is if they pull off the most unexpected postseason run in sports history and advance to the Super Bowl in Dallas.
#2. The NFL wants Bears-Packers for the big cheese.
The NFL ‘powers that be’ would die for a Bears-Packers NFC Championship Game on Fox next Sunday. If this one gets tight late, expect the refs to favor the home team. Which segues nicely into this point…
#3. The Bears are a team of destiny.
Did you know that if the Calvin Johnson non-catch was ruled a TD in week one, the Bears WOULD NOT be in the playoffs. Yep, they would’ve lost a 4th tiebreaker to the Packers for the NFC North Championship and a head-to-head tiebreaker with the Giants for a wildcard spot (At least this is what Dan Pompei at the Chicago Tribune reported last week). The Monsters of the Midway have been the recipients of fortuitous bounces all year long, and that won’t stop this weekend. Simply put, it’s the Bears year.
#4. The Seahawks will be jet-lagged.
Frequent-flying, miles-gobbling sales professionals can attest to this one – never underestimate the toll that traveling across multiple time-zones can have on your body. The Seahawks will be kicking off at what will feel 10 o’clock in the morning their time. So while Seattlites(?) are gulping their last sip of Starbucks back home, their football team will be rubbing the sleep from their eyes just before kickoff. They won’t be awake until that first hit from a fella in blue and orange.
#5. Jay Cutler will be pissed off.
People are overreacting to the fact Cutler is playing his first playoff game since high school. Jay’s also getting bashed in the media for non-football related crap. For example, Rick Reilly at espn.com wrote a scathing piece that criticized the Bears QB for 1) not looking John Elway in the eye at dinner, 2) texting while former Broncos safety John Lynch tried to school him in Denver and 3) NOT shamelessly self-promoting himself for his work with diabetic kids in Chicago. Cutler’s one tough son-of-gun who’s out to prove his detractors (which amount to everyone in America who doesn’t root for the Bears) can sit and spin.
#6. Seattle is due for a letdown.
The Seahawks played their Super Bowl last week against the Saints. Their upset of the defending World Champions sent shockwaves through the league and now the birds feel vindicated for their losing record. With nothing left to prove, they won’t be as motivated playing against a heavy favorite on the road in a raucous stadium.
Entering their earlier matchup in Soldier Field, the Bears were 4-1 and the Seahawks were limping in at 2-2, coming off an embarrassing loss to the St. Louis Rams the week before. You can forgive the Bears for looking past the wounded birdies back then. That won’t happen this time around.
#8. Pete Carroll is one cocky SOB.
Next to Rex Ryan, Carroll is the most annoying coach remaining in the playoffs. His jovial sideline demeanor is so fake even his own veteran players can see through the charade (pay attention to Matt Hasselbeck’s reactions to him after good and/or bad plays). The former Trojan told the media he plans on kicking to Devin Hester, which we all know is ree-dick-u-luss. Carroll should know better than to pull on Superman’s cape, but his ego keeps getting in the way.
My purely emotional prognostication:
So for shits and giggles, I like the Bears by a score of…oh, let’s say 49 to 13.
Goodbye birdies. Hello Packers (or Falcons) for a trip to the Super Bowl.