You can pick your friends and you can pick your.....well, never mind.
But you can't always pick your wins.
All Bears fans LOVE to beat the Packers. Especially after losing six straight and eight of the previous nine. The short week was sweet before it came to a crashing halt against the Lions. But in retrospect, would you now trade that Monday night win in Green Bay for beating Detroit at Soldier Field?
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Losing the season series against the Lions (who, to some, have become harder to take the Packers these days) means the Bears would have to leapfrog Detroit, who now owns the tie-breaker in any NFC North or Wild Card equation, despite the one-game difference in the standings.
Sure, there's the theory that the Bears don't beat Green Bay if Aaron Rodgers isn't hurt. If they don't convert that 4th-and-1 at their own 32, does the Pack go in and score to overcome the 24-20 deficit, even if it's Seneca Wallace running their offense? Would the Bears' subsequent desperation provide a different result at home against a Lions team coming off its bye week?
They're simply answers we'll never know. The season plays out as it does, no matter the emotion, or momentum, or desperation factor. But if the Packers find the end zone if that 4th-and-1's a failure, and the Bears wind up answering with a win over Detroit, they're actually in better position than they are right now, albeit with the same 5-4 record. Then again, we don't know how the Packers respond to defeating the Bears without Rogers, against Philadelphia.
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We'll see how the Schwartzies react to being atop the division in a game they should win at Pittsburgh. But the NFL's now a week-to-week proposition and the Steelers have some juice after winning two straight following their 0-6 start. Scott Tolzien and the Packers hit the road too, against a Giants team that started 0-6 as well, but has now won three straight. We pointed to last Sunday's Lions game as pivotal in determining the Bears' fate, and they were not the better team last Sunday. But that door still remains open, with the dreaded "help" that's needed from sub-.500 teams. The most important thing will be how the Bears try to overcome last Sunday's loss - and their personnel losses - against the next three sub-.500 teams on their own schedule heading into the final month.