Chicago Bear's Insider: Odds and Ends on Wild Card Weekend

Bryan DietzlerSenior Analyst IJanuary 9, 2011

CHICAGO, IL - DECEMBER 26: Brian Urlacher #54 of the Chicago Bears brings down Shonn Greene #23 the New York Jets at Soldier Field on December 26, 2010 in Chicago, Illinois. The Bears defeated the Jets 38-34. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

As we wait to see who the Bears will face next Sunday in their first playoff game, let’s take a look at a few things that have happened this past week with the Bears, as well as some recent observations.

The 2010 season parallels the 1985 and 2006 season.  For one, the Bears played the AFC East in all three years.  In the 1985 season, the only AFC East team to beat the Bears was the Dolphins.  In 2006, the Bears' losses in the AFC East included losses to the Miami Dolphins and New England Patriots.  This year, the only loss the Bears in the AFC East was to the Patriots.

The Bear’s 2006 Super Bowl came on a noted anniversary of the 1985 Super Bowl.  This year is the 25th anniversary year of the Bear’s Super Bowl victory over the Patriots.  Will the Bears be able to get to the Super Bowl this year and honor and make some history of their own?

All of the talk about whether or not head coach Lovie Smith was wise in his decision to play the Bear’s starters in the Green Bay game is finally starting to come to a rest.  There were several factors that led Smith to keeping the starters in there for the entire game, but perhaps the biggest factor was that the Bears didn’t want to lose any momentum going into the playoffs.

Had he decided to rest the starters, they wouldn’t have played a meaningful football game for three weeks heading into their January 16th playoff game.  Think of how much momentum would be lost if the Bears hadn’t had played their starters.  Smith had admitted to it at times, saying that he felt that playing his starters was important to keep that momentum going.

Of course, he also wanted to win that game.

Angelo Speaks: Bears general manager Jerry Angelo spoke about the state of the team this week, and he praised the moves that the team made this past offseason both with the players that they signed and with the coaches that they brought in.  The team that he helped put together with Smith is a big reason why the Bears have had the success that they have had this season.

Two other notes of interest brought up in the conversation with Angelo the other day dealt with questions about a possible retirement and the playing surface at Soldier Field.

First, Angelo quashed any rumors about his possible retirement.  As much as that might interest some fans, especially after some of his failures in recent drafts, it appears as if Angelo will stay on his own accord. But just how long will the ownership keep him around?  You can bet that they will leave him in the position this year, but if things fall apart next year, he could be gone.

The playing surface at Soldier Field is always in discussion and Angelo talked about it a little bit in his state of the team address.  There are those that feel that the field conditions have hampered the Bears this season (incidentally the Bears lost four of their five games this season at home), especially on defense where the Bears' light and fast defense has failed to gain the footing that helps them propel themselves up the field and get to the quarterback.

It doesn’t look like there will be any changes to the playing surface before the Bears play their first playoff game on the 16th of January, but there could be changes coming in the future.

Urlacher honored: Middle linebacker Brian Urlacher was named the Defensive Player of the Month for November in the NFC.  This was the first time that Urlacher had received the honor, and it was very well deserved.

As of this writing, the first game of the NFC playoffs has been completed, and the Seattle Seahawks surprisingly defeated the former NFL Champion New Orleans Saints.  This means that the Seahawks could come to Chicago if the Packers beat the Eagles tonight.