Today at Noon CST, the Chicago Bears host the Seattle Seahawks in the NFC Divisional Playoff round.Seattle stunned the defending Super Bowl Champion New Orleans Saints last week to advance to this round. The Bears were given a bye week as the number two seeded team in the tournament. The Green Bay Packers dismantled the top seeded Atlanta Falcons last night 48-21, so the winner of today's game will have home-field advantage for the NFC Championship game.
The Bears are in an excellent position to go all the way to the Super Bowl.
Let's put aside the tsunami of negative stories the media (especially the Chicago dailies) have churned out this week. At least for now. We won't forget the attitudes of the local punditry, who have spent the week behaving as though they worked for Pepsi, and the Chicago Bears were Coke. Let's look at some basic comparisons.
First and foremost, the Bears are 11-5 and the NFC North Champions. The Packers are America's Sweethearts again, and Chicago beat them for the title. The Bears basically let them in the playoffs.
Meanwhile, even with a playoff win last week, the Seahawks are 8-9. They limped into the playoffs agaginst the weakest competition the NFL has to offer. They played the Rams, 49ers, and Cardinals twice, and still ended the regualr season two games below .500.
Jay Cutler has never been to the post-season before it's true. But who better to play against in your debut? Matt Hasselbeck has playoff experience, yes. He's lost every one of the five road games he's played in. It's experience, but it's not experience you'd necessarily want.
They're saying the Seattle Seahawks are rolling, peaking at the right time. Well, they've lost five of their last eight games. Yes they beat the Saints, who were heavily favored, like the Bears are today. But that was in Seattle, with their noisy crowd and mild weather. They outplayed New Orleans, but just barely. They got the bounces and the calls.
You can't help but like a scrappy underdog team like Seattle. It's exciting to see anyone play above their depth. and they may just give the Bears a game today. Any given Sunday, etc.
But when you strip away all the hype about the Cinderella team, and all the sniping and doom-saying about the 11-5 Chicago Bears, the fact of the matter is this: The Bears are the best team still in the NFC playoffs, and Seattle is a statistical anomaly.
Remember that I'll be here all through the game, bringing you all the action and highlights.