I know its only preseason, I shouldnt get too excited, but the Chicago Bears are 3-0 and have a chance to go into the regular season undefeated if they can knock off the Cleveland Browns in their final exhibition game tomorrow night (Thursday, Aug. 30).
Is there really any significance to having an undefeated preseason in the NFL? Truthfully, Id have to answer absolutely not. All teams will begin the regular season schedule with the same 0-0 record. However, anyone would have to admit winning all of your preseason games beats the heck out of losing all of them.
Maybe Im reading too much into it, but I believe winning in the preseason is important for several reasons. I think it helps set the tone for a team. It establishes a winning atmosphere among the players. That winning atmosphere helps to eliminate, or at least reduce, the finger-pointing and/or second-guessing about what could have been done differently if those wins were losses. It helps the team build confidence in the system, the play selection, personnel and coaching staff and, most importantly, each other. It builds cohesiveness heading into the long 17-week schedule of the regular season. Those things are all instrumental if a team expects to still be playing during the post-season.
Regardless of whether they win or lose tomorrow night, the Bears have had a successful training camp and preseason. Theyve been able to evaluate their talent, try some new things both on offense and defense, while remaining relatively injury-free. It looks to me like theyll be ready to take on the Chargers in San Diego on opening day. My prediction, Bears 27, Chargers 20.
from the Aug. 29-Sept. 4, 2007, issue