The Eagles continue to be a thorn in the Giants' side. And this time, they did it by losing.
Philly's stunning 24-14 loss to the Vikings tonight ensured the Bears will have a first-round bye in the postseason, thus giving them even less to play for in Sunday's game against the Packers. The Giants need a Green Bay loss or tie (in addition to a a victory in their game against the Redskins) to get into the postseason.
The only carrot left for the Bears is the No. 1 seed in the NFC. But by the time their game against the Packers kicks off at 4:15 p.m., the Falcons might have already polished off the 2-13 Panthers and thus locked up the top spot in the conference. And even if Atlanta loses, the Bears would also need the Buccaneers to defeat the Saints to have a shot at the No. 1 seed.
Bears coach Lovie Smith said Monday, no matter the stakes, he would play his starters in Green Bay.
"We feel like we have to beat the Packers, to accomplish our regular season goals," Smith said, according to the Chicago Sun-Times, "and that's what we're going to go to work to do."
The Giants are hoping he means it. And that the Bears' starters will play like there's actually something on the line.
Mike Garafolo: firstname.lastname@example.org