Conventional wisdom says the Eagles screwed over the Giants yet again by losing on Tuesday night.
The game clinched a bye for the Bears. That gives Chicago less motivation to go all out against Green Bay Sunday, and the Giants need the Packers to lose for a chance at the playoffs. Vegas is on board with this thinking, installing the Packers as early ten point favorites.
The only problem to this theory: The Bears insist they will go all out to beat their division rivals.
“Lovie (Smith) said … we’re going to be playing, we’re going to be going and we’re going to be full-go on Sunday,” quarterback Jay Cutler said Wednesday according to the Chicago Tribune. “So that’s what we expect. Hopefully we can continue to be playing at the level we’re playing.”
Cutler mentioned how rare it would be to sweep all 6 games in division play. (It hasn’t happened in the NFC North since it was called the NFC Central in 1987.) More importantly, this isn’t just any opponent for the Bears.
Smith famously said his first goal as Bears coach was to beat the Packers. This is a chance to accomplish the goal in dramatic fashion. Chicago is completely healthy and they are headed for a bye week. They don’t really need the rest.
“We want to win the ball game,” Cutler said. “We don’t want to take a step back as a team or as an offense.”