How troubling were the results of games Sunday and Monday for the Bears?
The league office has confirmed that the Bears can officially be eliminated from playoff contention before they host the Green Bay Packers Monday night at Soldier Field. That's how bad Sunday was and Philadelphia's victory over Cleveland Monday night only served to make matters worse.
If all of the following occurs, the Bears will be playing for 2009 come Monday:
Dallas defeats Baltimore on Saturday night
Minnesota defeats Atlanta on Sunday; wins NFC North
Tampa Bay defeats San Diego on Sunday
Philadelphia defeats Washington on Sunday
For what it's worth, for those who follow such stuff, the Cowboys, Vikings, Buccaneers and Eagles are all favored in those games. If they all win, it will make getting up for a meaningless game in what should be frosty conditions probably a little difficult. But maybe not.
"I'm excited to get another crack at Aaron Rodgers and that offense,'' defensive end Adewale Ogunleye said. "I think you [have to embrace the rivalry] because the fans won't like you if you don't. So I hate the Packers; I want all the Bears fans to know I hate the Packers. But it's a big rivalry and actually after losing the way we did up there, it makes it even more of a heated battle with Monday night coming up. I can't wait. I really, really want to try to settle the score and at least go 1-1 against the Packers."
That's what it could be reduced to, playing to go 1-1 against Green Bay.
Obviously, the Bears' best chance for a postseason berth is to hope the Vikings lose to Atlanta and then again next week against the New York Giants. The wild-card scenario is farfetched and would require even more help next weekend.