Chicago Sun-Times

The Bears in an uncomfortable position... as the favorite

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All season long, the Bears have busted out the underdog card at every turn.

No one respects us. No one likes our quarterback, our offensive line, our head coach and general manager... fill in the blank.

But after one of the great playoff upsets in NFL history, when the 7-9 Seattle Seahawks defeated the defending Super Bowl champion New Orleans Saints on Saturday, the Bears are a 10-point favorite on Sunday.

"We don't really listen to a lot of things that are said on the outside," Bears coach Lovie Smith said. "I didn't really know that until now. It doesn't really matter. When you have a playoff team, why do you even have favorites?

"We have to take care of business. Any team can beat the other on any day."

It's a wise shift for Smith, since it's hard to find ways to make the Seahawks a favorite against the Bears.

In a season filled with breaks, the Bears caught arguably the biggest yet. The top-seeded Atlanta Falcons get stuck with the always dangerous Green Bay Packers (10-6) because the Seahawks, by virtue of "winning" a division, are technically seeded higher, despite an inferior record (7-9).

Surely, the Falcons can't be too pleased how this has gone down.

But in Chicago, they are adjusting to the new role.

"If we're picked to win, good," Devin Hester said. "If not, it's OK, because we're used to being the underdog. But we have to do it, at the end of the day. It's all up to us."

"That's a little different," Bears cornerback Tim Jennings said of being a 10-point favorite.

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1 Comment

At this stage of the season such trivial assessments are meaningless.As Lovie said, in the playoffs there should be no favorites. He is absolutely right that any team can beat any other one on a given day.

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This page contains a single entry by Sean Jensen published on January 10, 2011 2:17 PM.

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