If the NFL season ended today, the Bears would be the third overall seed in the playoffs. Including the Bears, there are six, 6-3 teams.
By virtue of tiebreakers, here's how the NFC playoff picture would look like:
This would mean the Bears would have home field advantage, at least for the first round. With the current log jam in the NFC, the Halas trophy is up for grabs.
Anyone who says that playing in "Bear weather" is myth couldn't be more wrong. If the Bears were to play team like the Saints, they would be severely affected by the cold, as we saw in the 06 playoffs. The cold weather, no doubt, affects warm weather and dome teams.
This team is not like the 01 Dick Jauron 13-3 team that lost to the Eagles or the 05 Bears with Rex Grossman that lost to the Panthers in "Bear weather".
The 01 Bears were fortunate enough to have every single ball bounce their way. They did have the number 1 ranked defense but that was about it. They lost to the Eagles in the second round because they were out played and push around by a more physical and intimidating Eagles team.
The 05 Bears also had the number 1 ranked defense, but had, Kyle Orton, leading throughout much of the season until Rex Grossman took over late in the season and led the mostly inexperienced Bears to a loss against the Panthers.
This season's Bears are a different team. The Bears have 2 elite players at the 2 of the most important positions on the field - a quarterback and a pass rusher.
Jay Cutler is our quarterback - not Jim Miller, Shane Matthews, Kyle Orton or Rex Grossman.
Julius Peppers is a potential Hall of Famer and is not Phillip Daniels, Bryan Robinson, Alex Brown or Adewale Ogunleye.
In addition, this season's Bears have a more than competent two dimensional running back duo of Matt Forte and Chester Taylor, not a one dimensional single running back attack of Anthony Thomas or Thomas Jones.
Just like the 01 and 06 teams, the Bears are healthy.
What also makes the Bears a very dangerous team is the return of the Windy City Flyer, Devin Hester. He is the most feared player on the field because of his ability to change the complexion of the game at any moment.
If the Bears were to be afforded a rematch with the Seahawks, I can assure you the outcome will be different. The Seahawks aren't a scary team at all. After the Bears take care of them as expected, they would get their rematch against the Giants in New York. Despite their worst performance of the season, the Bears were still in the game in the 4th quarter, with Todd Collins and Caleb Hanie. The Giants will be in a world of trouble with a fully functioning offense, especially playing in Bear-like weather on turf. Turf will make this Bears teams a lot faster than they appear.
The 5th and 6th seed teams, in this case the Packers and Saints, can beat the Falcons.
If the Bears can handle their business against the Giants, and the Packers or Saints can take care of the Falcons, the Bears will have home field advantage and play in front of the 4th Phase.