Chicago Bears fans should want to play a motivated Green Bay Packers team.
Heading into their Week 16 matchup against the Jacksonville Jaguars, Chicago Bears fans are crunching the numbers trying to figure out how the team can make the playoffs. Sitting at 7-7, and currently on the outside looking in, the team realistically needs to win its next two, which includes a Week 17 tilt against the Green Bay Packers.
However, even if the Bears finish 9-7, they are not guaranteed a playoff berth and will need some help from other teams. But first thing’s first — they need to get to 9-7 to have a legitimate shot. While there are no “gimmes” in the NFL, playing the Jaguars who were just gifted the No. 1 overall pick in the NFL Draft by the New York Jets, is as close as it gets.
After that, the Bears will return home to take on the Packers in the season finale. At the moment, fans are already calculating the various scenarios trying to see if the Packers will have anything worth playing for in that game. By that time, they may have the No. 1 overall seed wrapped up and could rest the majority of their team.
While that would certainly provide the easiest path for the team to make the postseason, fans should want to play a Packers team that is motivated and playing for something.
First, if you want this team in the playoffs, guess what — they’re going to have to beat good teams like the Packers. It’s unavoidable. And over the last three games, as well as their upcoming game against the Jaguars, they will not have done that. So if you are worried about the Bears being able to beat a playoff team to get into the playoffs, it begs the question of what you think they’ll be able to do even if they get in.
Second, and more importantly, playing a motivated Packers team will help provide some answers as to whether this recent offensive renaissance is a mirage or legitimate. While some are ready to plan the ticker-tape parade celebrating this offensive resurgence, others are maintaining a more level-headed approach. While the offense has looked better and produced more, it has come at the hands of what will be three of the worst defenses in the league.
At the end of the season, the Bears will have another decision to make about Mitchell Trubisky. Do they try to bring him back on a one-year deal next year? Is his performance over these last few games enough to give them the confidence that he has truly turned the corner? If they are still having some doubts, tearing up the Packers in a meaningful game for both teams would go a long way in making that decision.