In all honesty, I thought the Bears were in a must win situation weeks ago. But after these last three losses, the Bears have no choice but to win from here on out.
After today's loss in their final regular season home game to Green Bay, the Bears find themselves on the outside looking in. Here is what the playoff picture looks like now:
Green Bay 10-4 Clinched NFC North with today's victory
Atlanta 12-2 Clinched NFC South
San Francisco 9-3-1 Leads NFC West
Washington 8-6 Leads NFC East
Seattle 9-5 Beat the Bears two weeks ago
Minnesota 8-6 Beat the Bears last week
In The Hunt:
Dallas 8-6 Lost to the Bears earlier this season
N.Y. Giants 8-6
St. Louis 6-7-1
Even though the Bears split the season series with Minnesota and both teams have the same overall record, the Vikings have a better division record (3-2}, and a better conference record (6-5).
As long as the Bears can finish the season on a winning note, they will stay ahead of both Dallas and St. Louis.
The only chance that the Giants have of making the playoffs is to either win the NFC East, or clinch a wild card spot by winning their last two games, and hoping that the Vikings, Seahawks, Bears, and Cowboys all falter at seasons end.
The Bears did not play the "G-Men" this year so I'm not worried about them too much. But Dallas would love to play catch up, and the Cardinals and Lions would love to play spoiler.
The Bears need to win these last two games. There are no if's, and's, or but's about it. If the Bears can finish the season with a 10-6 record they will still have a chance. The only problem is that the Bears will need some help.
Here is what the Bears need to happen in order to get a wild card berth:
The Bears can clinch the 6th seed if they win their last two games, and Minnesota loses at least one of their two remaining games. In that case the Bears will move ahead of the Metrodomers by way of better regular season record.
The good thing is the Vikings play Houston on the road next week. Houston has only last one game at home this year, and I highly doubt that they will have enough fire power to upset the Texans.
In week 17, Minnesota has to go to Lambeau Field to face the Packers. I hate to say this but if somehow the Vikings beat the Texans, the Bears will need their neighbor's to the north to lend some assistance.
Should Minnesota win out their remaining schedule, all hope is not lost. The Bears can still clinch the 6th seed if they win out and then Seattle loses their final two games.
The Bears do have a very slim chance of clinching the 5th seed. Again, they need to win these last two games against Arizona and Detroit.
From there they will need both Minnesota and Seattle to finish the season on a losing note. While it is very possible that the Vikings can collapse at the end of the season, I can't say the same thing for Seattle.
The Seahawks have scored 108 points in their last two games. Granted they were against Arizona and Buffalo, but it is still an accomplishment none the less.
Russell Wilson is a forced to be reckoned with and he will not allow his team to lose two-in-a-row. Granted, they have a crucial division game with San Francisco next week. Jim Harbaugh's team took round one of that series in Week 7.
The winner of that game will be the 2012 NFC West Champion. Despite losing to both teams, the Bears will be cheering for the 49ers next Sunday night.
Seattle finishes the schedule by playing the St. Louis Rams. The Rams already won the first meeting between these two back in Week 4.
If the Rams lose next week they will be eliminated from playoff contention. But the Bears will be rooting for the Rams come Week 17.
But the Bears can't focus too much on the other teams in the conference. They just need to focus on getting healthy, improving on the field, and winning.
Hopefully the rest will fall into place from there.
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