The Minnesota Vikings finally did something right this season. By beating the Philadelphia Eagles, the Vikings gave the Bears a guaranteed first round bye in the NFC Playoffs.
While the Bears could still potentially clinch the top seed in the NFC, the Atlanta Falcons would have to lose to a Carolina Panthers team with only two wins. So what may be more important than the chance for the top seed, is the Bears’ chance to stay healthy heading into the playoffs.
“I’m glad I’m not in Lovie [Smith's] seat right now, because that’s a tough call,” Hub Arkush said on 670 The Score, when asked about whether or not the Bears should rest their players. “Now keep in mind that the first-seed is still in play and I believe the Panthers-Falcons game is an early game. So at least they would know going in, [if they could win the top-seed].”
One of the major factors to the Bears’ success this season has been their ability to stay healthy. And as of now, they have the potential to enter the playoffs with all their starters, something that’s not guaranteed if they play them Sunday.
“This team has been so remarkably fortunate to be as healthy as they have to this point,” Arkush said. “If they were to go all out on Sunday and injure a [Julius] Peppers or a [Brian] Urlacher or a [Jay Culter], I don’t think they’d ever hear the end of it.”
While the outcome of the Bears-Packers game could affect seeding for other teams, and potentially give the Bears the top-seed, they to focus on what’s best for themselves heading into the postseason.
“I think you have to look out for number one,” Arkush said. “And Lovie has to decide, is number one better off with one more dry run full speed, before they take a week off, or should he rest them a little bit more.”
If we know one thing about Lovie, it’s that we won’t know his gameplan until kickoff on Sunday.