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Bears need to win or face long winter without playoffs

The Chicago Bears are against the wall in Philadelphia on Sunday.

After losing to the Los Angele Chargers at home in Week 8 due to a pair of Mitchell Trubisky fourth-quarter turnovers and two missed field goals, the Bears trudge to Philadelphia with a 3-4 record. In the AFC, they’d be a good month from locking up a wild card spot. In the NFC, life support.

Coming into the day, the Bears aren’t in the top 10 NFC teams per the playoff picture. Chicago is bringing up the rear in the NFC North, sitting directly behind the perfectly average 3-3-1 Detroit Lions. Now, the Bears have an opportunity to go on the road and defeat the Eagles, a 4-3 outfit which could well be fighting to its playoff lives as well.

Of course, these teams have some history. The two foes met in January for an NFC Wild Card showdown, and that ended in the infamous Double Doink off the foot of Cody Parkey. Still, despite the obvious era motivation for Chicago, head coach Matt Nagy didn’t use the talking point this week, according to the team’s official website.

“It hasn’t really been talked about by anybody,” Nagy said. “That was a big game for us, a big loss for us that we used (as motivation) in the offseason. I think internally everybody knows the feeling of what we felt, but we haven’t turned this into any type of revenge game: ‘You’ve got to do this or do that.’ We’re just focused on going 1-0 with where we’re at this year.”

Should the Bears fall short to the Eagles 10 months later, it’ll all but assure they don’t get another trip to the postseason. Chicago would be staring at a 3-5 hole and considering the strength of the conference, would either need to run the table or at worst, have one more loss get in its way. The remaining schedule includes the Detroit Lions twice, the Green Bay Packers (away), Minnesota Vikings (away), Dallas Cowboy (home), Los Angeles Rams (away) and Kansas City Chiefs (home). Only losing two more games going forward — including Sunday’s tilt — would be a borderline miracle. Falling to the Eagles and then running that table? Miraculous beyond words.
Still, the Bears can at least breathe life into their season by going into a tough environment and emerging with a win. Should they lose, there isn’t a reason to emerge until next year.
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