For a while last night, it looked like the Atlanta Falcons were going to do the Bears a huge favor.
The Bears beat the Falcons in the season opener, and the Falcons jumped out to a 14-0 lead against the Green Bay Packers.
But the Packers scored the next 25 points to rally for a victory and move to 5-0.
The win, though, was a costly one for the Packers. They lost offensive tackle Chad Clifton to a ghastly looking right hamstring injury.
Simply put, the Bears can't afford to lose tonight at Ford Field. With a win, the Lions would move to 5-0, and the Bears would fall three games behind two teams in the division. That would also put them in dismal shape in the wildcard race.
Yes, it's very early. But the Bears need to start playing better on defense and especially offense as they enter a crucial stretch. After the Lions, the Bears host the Minnesota Vikings at Soldier Field.
The Vikings snapped a four-game losing streak with a 34-10 beating of the Arizona Cardinals at the Metrodome.
Beyond wins and losses, these next two games for the Bears are both in primetime: tonight on ESPN's Monday Night Football and then NBC's Sunday Night Football.
If the Bears can win, then they would also be right back in the Wildcard mix. Based on current records -- if they can get to 3-2 -- they'd be tied with the New York Giants and Tampa Bay Buccaneers for the final Wildcard spot.