What was once a foregone conclusion is now a very dire situation for the Chicago Bears and their fans. For much of the season, the Bears were lauded as Super Bowl contenders, and were even in the running for the number one seed in the NFC for the playoffs. However, since their Sunday night loss against the Texans at home, the Bears have been a team in free fall and now find themselves on the outside looking in to the postseason. That game started a snowball in which Jay Cutler was injured for that and the subsequent game against the 49ers (another loss), and since then the Bears have only won once at home to the Vikings, and have blown several chances to reclaim their playoff spot. Now the Bears are behind the Vikings and could see themselves miss the playoffs, even if they win both of their remaining games.
The NFC North playoff situation is a very complex one. For your sake, I will not delve into every scenario, only the most realistic ones. For the Bears, they can secure a wild card spot if they win their last two games AND get some help from other potential wild card teams. The easiest way to get in is for them to win their last two games at Arizona and at Detroit and have both the Vikings and Giants lose one of their remaining two games. After that, the tie-breaking system gets very complicated and cannot be decided just yet. With the Vikings in Houston and the Giants in Baltimore, it is very possible that both teams will lose, giving the Bears inside position once again if they take care of business in Arizona. Seattle looks to be in control of one wild card spot if they do not overtake the 49ers for the NFC West, leaving just one spot for the likes of the two non NFC East winning teams, the Bears, the Vikings, and possibly even the Saints or Bucs. Quite simply, a lot can be determined this weekend, but it will ultimately all come down to week 17 for many of the NFC’s playoff hopefuls, the Chicago Bears included.