LAKE FOREST – Cue Jim Morea? Perhaps.
Making the postseason looked pretty good in October when the Bears won five of their first six games, especially with an extra team added for each conference starting in 2020. That momentum has obviously disappeared since, which has knocked the thought of playoffs out of a lot of fan’s minds.
But a win over the Texans and did leave open the possibility for the Bears to find their way into the postseason for the second time in three seasons. Basically, they have to win out and get help, even though scenarios exist to for them to get in at 8-8.
Even those go out the window if the Bears lose on Sunday to the Vikings, who currently sit with the same 6-7 record as the teams meet in Minneapolis. Both teams sit a game behind the Cardinals for that seventh spot with a 7-6 record with the Buccaneers in sixth with an 8-5 record.
Matt Nagy’s not really going through a lot of scenarios quite yet, understanding that a loss on Sunday basically puts an end to those hopes.
“We understand from our end and know they understand from their end, they understand how significant it is,” said Nagy. “When you get this far into the season, sometimes you’re going to be in these positions so the team that comes out that’s the most ready, the team that comes out that wants it the most and plays together the most will have the best chance.
“So we’re excited.”
They’ll need to translate that to their performance against Minnesota, who beat the Bears 19-13 in November at Soldier Field. It happened on defense that day, but not on offense, as the Nick Foles-led unit gained just 149 total yards in a pre-bye week defeat.
That was a lowpoint in a dismal six-game losing streak that derailed the Bears’ 5-1 start and has put them into essentially “win or go home” when it comes to the playoffs in 2020. But according to Bilal Nichols, that urgency has been there for a while, and isn’t new to this week.
“For us, our playoffs started a couple of week ago, like it started last week for us,” said Nichols. “We can’t afford to lose anymore games and we’re taking each week a game at a time, just like it’s the playoffs. Our playoffs is now.
“We constantly remind ourselves that everyday at practice, every day at meetings, we’re in playoff mode right now, so we just hold each other to that standard.”
With the hope they’ll be able to do so into mid-January if they can win their next three “postseason” games, starting with Sunday.