The Bears were rewarded for their 11-5 record with a first round bye in the playoffs and a home field advantage for this divisional round game. But according to ProFootballTalk.com‘s Mike Florio, that week off could hurt them.
“I think any time a team has had a bye week entering the postseason,” Florio said, “there’s a special set of challenges that that team has to deal with. And look, Lovie Smith has been in this position before, they had a bye week four years ago when they ultimately made it to the Super Bowl.
LISTEN: Mike Florio On The Danny Mac Show
“What happens is, you’re coming in cold, against a team that’s feeling pretty darn good about itself. And the Seahawks are feeling pretty darn good about themselves right now. And there’s a chance that you can get caught flat-footed if you’re the home team.”
This idea might go against conventional logic. The team coming off of the bye week is rested, healthier and has had more time to prepare for a game. But recent history might not favor the home team as much as it once did.
“At one point it was a no brainier,” Florio said. “The one seed, the two seed, they win the game, they win the game big. Something has happened in the last 10 years though, where the teams that win the wild card games can give the teams that are the first seed, or second seed, fits. “