No one likes to tie. The favored team is upset they didn't pull out the win, and the underdog is upset they didn't quite have enough in the tank to unseat the favored team. For fans, a tie is awful, but for those of us watching the standings, they're a hidden blessing.
At 6-2-1, the San Francisco 49ers shouldn't have to worry about any tie-breaking procedures. They do have to worry about the visiting Chicago Bears. The Bears are 7-2-0 (I only through the "0" in there to treat both teams equally), and they could open up a one and a half game lead over the 49ers with a win.
Beyond the physical battle that will ensue tonight, Monday night's game is intriguing because both of these teams could come out of the gate flat, or they could come out looking like champs. We really won't know until the opening kickoff how this game will shape up.
The prize for the winning team tonight may very well be the second seed in the NFC playoffs, and the first round bye that goes along with that seeding. For the Bears, a loss would mean falling back to level with the Green Bay Packers, a position they can't afford to be put in.
Tonight's game promises to be a physical, hard fought game just like Sunday night's matchup between the Ravens and the Steelers. If this game feels a bit like a playoff game, don't stress out. It's a great late-season matchup between two playoff caliber teams, and they won't likely disappoint us with the level of play.