With a must-needed victory over the Arizona Cardinals in Week 16, the Chicago Bears have kept their postseason hopes alive going into the final week of the regular season. Now, for the Bears (9-6) to get the final wildcard spot in the NFC, they will have to beat a Detroit Lions team that has loss their last seven games.
Chicago did defeat Detroit in Week 7 by the score of 13-7.
Unfortunately, this isn’t the only thing that has to happen for Chicago to make it into the playoffs. Ironically, the Bears will have to root for their most hated rival, the Green Bay Packers, to beat the Minnesota Vikings in Week 17. The good thing about this matchup is that the Packers, who have already won the NFC North title, still has some incentive to play. A win over the Vikings (9-7) will give Green Bay a shot at securing the number-two seed, therefore giving them a first-round bye in the postseason.
If the Vikings do beat the Packers, they will knock Chicago out of contention for the sixth seed because they have a better record against common opponents this season.
The other possible scenario that would have helped the Bears get into the playoffs fizzled out when the Seattle Seahawks trounced the San Francisco 49ers Sunday night. Had the Seahawks loss their last two games of the regular season, Chicago could have advanced into the playoffs.
The Bears aren’t alone in the battle for the last wildcard spot. The Dallas Cowboys and the New York Giants still have a chance at the postseason as well. Both the Cowboys and the Giants did lose in Week 16, which slightly increased Chicago’s playoff chances.
In order for either Dallas or New York to have a chance at a wildcard spot, they will have to rely on Chicago losing to the Lions.
The chances for the Bears to make the playoffs this season look promising. They’ll face a team that hasn’t won a game since Week 9. In addition, Chicago should feel a bit comfortable knowing that the Packers, a far more superior team, is the favorite in their battle against the Vikings in the regular-season finale.
But first thing’s first. The Bears’ game will be played at 1 p.m. (EST), which means that they won’t have the distraction of wondering if the Packers are beating the Vikings during their game, because Green Bay and Minnesota won’t square off until 4:25 p.m. (EST).
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