The Bears have been here before. They know they can blow it.
With a win in the final game of the 2008 season, the Bears could go to the playoffs. It was that simple; beat the 7-8 Texans in Houston and it didnt matter what anybody else did.
Houston had even lost the week before to the woeful (3-11) Oakland Raiders.
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The Bears went out to a 10-0 lead and then lost focus, the game, the playoffs and, years later, perhaps Lovie Smiths job if they do not at least win Sunday in Detroit.
We were in this position a few years back, Smith recalled. We looked at all the different scenarios and we forgot about the one that really mattered us winning the game.
The playoffs that year vanished when the Philadelphia Eagles crushed the Dallas Cowboys in the later game. That wont be an issue this time.
The broadcast of the Green Bay-Minnesota game is expected to be piped in over the radio on the Bears charter flight home. But if the Bears dont win first, there wont be any need for Wayne Larrivees account.
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That Houston loss still stings.
Shoot, too much looking over and looking to see what other teams were doing other than keeping the Texans out of the end zone, said linebacker Lance Briggs. That was another spoiler. They left that season with somewhat of a nice taste in their mouth and left us with a sour taste. Its all within our control.
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A Detroit loss would leave Schwartz 20 games under .500 (22-42) for his four seasons, only one (2011) with a winning record and playoff trip. And the Lions likely would not have reached the postseason had Jay Cutler not gone down with a broken thumb at a point where the Bears had moved past the Lions.
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A Bears win would leave Smith 18 games above .500 for his nine-year Chicago career (81-63), 10-6 for the 2012 season, and very likely returning in 2013 to at least coach out the final year of the contract extension he signed in 2011.