Chicago Sun-Times

Bears' playoff situation goes critical

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The Bears' playoff hopes took a hit today. A big hit.

Minnesota's 35-14 victory at Arizona reduced the Vikings' magic number in the NFC North to one. The Bears (8-6) need the Vikings (9-5) to lose at home to Atlanta and the New York Giants and they need to defeat Green Bay and Houston. So, the division could be gone before the Bears host the Packers on ``Monday Night Football'' Dec. 22.

The window for a wild-card berth is closing on the Bears, too. Atlanta's 13-10 overtime victory over Tampa Bay dealt a serious blow to their hopes of taking that path into the postseason. The Bears passed only Washington in the wild-card standings on Sunday. They can pass Philadelphia if the Eagles lose Monday night to Cleveland, but the Browns are a two touchdown underdog going into Lincoln Financial Field.

So, the Bears are behind the Buccaneers, Falcons, Cowboys and Eagles for the wild card. To get into the top two they need Tampa to lose at home to San Diego and Oakland or have Atlanta swept by Minnesota and St. Louis. The Falcons host the Rams in the Georgia Dome in Week 17. Then, there is the business of surpassing Dallas and Philadelphia.

The bottom line is the wild card would require a series of improbable events. The Bears' best hope is to have the Vikings, who have won four straight, lose out. Then, the Bears have to win out and they have not won more than two straight since making their Super Bowl run in 2006. It hasn't happened often--just five times since 1990--but the Bears could wind up 10-6 and miss the postseason.

It's worth noting the Vikings have not won the NFC North since it was known as the Central and the Buccaneers resided here as well.

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Why does Minnesota have the tie breaker if they finish with the same record of 10-6? Thanks for clarifying!

Because they beat the Panthers and we didn't.

Check out the Bears website and look up the Chalk Talk on December 8, 2008.

By June:

Why does Minnesota have the tie breaker if they finish with the same record of 10-6? Thanks for clarifying!

Brad Posted this earlier: Vikes, Bears

Record 8-5 8-6

Head-to-head 1-1 1-1

Division 4-2 3-2

Conference 6-3 6-5 Remaining @Ari. schedule Atl. G.B. N.Y.G. @Hou.

The skinny: Vikings hold the tiebreaker based on conference record. If Vikings win two of their last three, Bears would need plenty of help to pick up a wild-card spot.

This is pre Arizona though.

Hey Brad did you catch the Pitt, Ravens game today? Maybe you could do Chicago a favor and send a copy to Bob, Lovie and the Bears defense. Then they might have an idea of what a good defense looks like. Now that was football. They might also learn that they don't need to sacrifice 8 guys to stop the run. You can actually do it with a good D line and a better scheme, then maybe they will be able to cover the pass. But then again what do Pitt and Baltimore know about good defense? Oh wait, never mind, they know a lot about it.

Anyone catch those Texans, or does everyone still think that is still an easy win for the Bears? Just like everyone thought the Red Birds were gonna mop up the Vikes. Well most of you did some guys around here have actually heard of let down games and spolier games.

Vikings have the tie braker due to margin of victory. go atl nyg

there goes bernard berrian burning the bears what do you know we dont pay him and he burns us twice a 99 yard bomb and then two tds against arizona.

Because they have the better conference record. Simply put, we need for the Queens to lose out in order for us to reach the playoffs.

However, seeing as how everyone in the division is fundamentally flawed, I would love to watch them get smacked around in the First Round. One and done.

June, I think the Vikes have the tiebreaker by virtue of a better record against opponents they shared with the Bears. It's like the third criteria for a tiebreaker or something.

The Cards looked like they gave up on life itself today. Awful, awful, performance. While our chances took a hit, The Vikes also took a hit when one of the Williamses was carted off the field.

I firmly believe still that the Bears will take the North. I just think Atlanta has more heart and complexity than the Vikes and that when Jacobs returns to the Giants, they will play like they have for the majority of the season. Minnesota is actually a very dumb team that overfeeds the ball to #28. I just don't think they are that hard to stop.

Hey Da Church, Tarvaris Jackson looked like a top 5 QB for one day. Maybe the Vikes should sign him at once to a $65 million deal!

They have a better record inside the NFC.

They get it due to conference record.

The Bears are one-and-out even if they make the playoffs, which it now looks like they won't. A 10-6 or even 9-7 finish is better than most of us expected, but it's still infuriating the way management and the coaching staff managed to ruin a team that was in the Super Bowl a couple of years ago.

Hey Brad, definitely their chances took a big hit today and while it may take one, it won't necessarily take a series of improbable events. [Hmm, though after the DAL win tonight their chances really took another huge hit, perhaps even bigger than the ATL win.]

Broken down, either MIN (Case 1) or ATL (Case 2) wins their matchup. Also assume the Bears win out (they no longer can make the playoffs at 9-5).

Case 1: MIN clinches, so to win a wild-card spot:
A) one of the following 2 must happen:
_1. ATL loses vs STL
_2. TB loses out vs SD and vs OAK
B) DAL must lose out vs BAL and at PHI (or tie)
C) PHI must lose or tie 1 game out of vs CLE, at WAS, or vs DAL

Of these I'd say the only improbable events are STL beating ATL and OAK beating TB, but only 1 of these needs to happen.

Case 2: Bears can now clinch if MIN then loses to NYG, otherwise they can still win the wild-card if A2, B, and C (from above) happen.

Bottom line? Bears are still alive after next week if ATL beats MIN, or failing that if SD beats TB and BAL beats DAL. None of that is highly improbable. Depending on which scenario happens though, the Bears might need something magical to happen in Week 17.


Oops, actually any 3 of A1, A2, B, and C in Case 1 will give the Bears the wild-card.

If ATL beats MIN though (Case 2), then A2, B, and C is the only path to the wild-card, but that keeps open the division as a possibility.

It all goes back to the bears not paying Barien to stick around. He may not have been worth the money as a player but as an important piece to this offense, he was.
Another stupid mistake by Angelo.
Barien is the difference maker this year. The difference between the bears going to the playoffs and not. The difference between having a strong season and not. The difference between moving Hester over and making him the lead receiver and loosing a great return guy and not.

yep...the management drew the line and said ..we aren't going to pay this guy...and coming to a conclusion that Hester can fill his shoes. They had this figured out so well that they drafted a wide receiver in the middle rounds (that has yet to play offense).

Just think...a team that had high needs for an offensive tackle and and a running back (which they took) didn't think loosing Barien would hurt this team.
When was the last time the Bears organization under Angelo, had a speedy wide out that could catch balls? How about never.

This is just another poor decision by this staff, starting with Angelo and contining with Lovie and the 2 coordinators. Another decision that holds back this team from a winning season. It's like the Bears team has a boat anchor tied around its neck in the names of Angelo and Lovie.
This team will go nowhere as long as they are in control.

2006 was an accident.

I think I called it when I said the Vikes opponents weren't going to try their best to defeat them. (Thats what I keep telling myself at least). Well at least we'll have a long offseason to possibly track down good players and needed players. I personally would have the unacheivable wish of getting either of the Bengals receivers if they're availible, maybe Boldin if availible and willing, and maybe another running back that could releive Forte when needed. I'm in simple awe that due to the Vikings org for not being as cheap as the Bears have gotten so far while we're struggling to make ends meat. Right now it is most likely that they will make the playoffs, because for some reason the Giants can't seem to function without Burress and the Falcons, although far better than last year, still struggle to get that major win. So the sooner we remove ourselves from the denial phase that we have an opportunity to make it to the POs the org should sit down, hammer out the long term deals for the players we already have, and for the love of God, please start opening up those wallets and gether the will to buy some talent for the team. I just wish I knew what is going through the orgs and Lovies mind to keep the twon coordinators that they have and why are not willing to hire new talent on the coordnators positions. This is agonizing and paintstaking to see our rivals, who are supposed to be ground meat for us is greatly acheiving success. I keep telling myself that they're primarily winning bc the teams they play are questionable at best to begin with, or they're lucking out, etc. But ultimately they are showing strength in ways we lack. Hopefully in the offseason we can pick ourselves up by our bootstraps, gain some talent, and start next season on a more successful note with a continuation of that note throughout that season. Go Bears.

there is no doubt that jerry angelo has made some mistakes that have cost the bears greatly, but there is still enough talent on this team to at least make it into the playoffs.

the reason the bears are not making the playoffs is because they have one of the worst coaches in the nfl. lovie smith is a brainless, emotionless moron!

let's look at the panthers game, horrible play calling. you can blame it on turner, but lovie is the head coach. how about the tampa bay game. tillman made an extremely boneheaded play, but i blame his lack of understanding about what was happening on the coaching staff...lovie smith! great squib kick in the atlanta game. there's another great coaching decision. a victory in any one of these games completely changes the bears playoff picture.

i believe it is very evident every time the bears take the field that they do not believe in the coaching staff. and there's lovie standing there emotionless on the sideline (see deer in headlights). the bears coaching staff is too stupid to even make halftime adjustments. they take the same gameplan into every single contest and never alter it, even when it clearly is not working.

also, to think that nfl players have enough motivation to play hard and win in the salaries they make is obviously just not true. these players need to have a fire lit under their rears and lovie is incapable of doing that. talent alone does not win football games. strategy and scheming are almost just as valuable. people only need to look at the cowboys (wade phillips) and the chargers (norv turner) to see how true that statement is. a bad coach can completely ruin a talented football team, see lovie smith.

i was happy when the bears locked up lovie in his current deal, but now i realize why angelo waited so long to get it done. he realized lovie just had a very talented football team. now, every time the bears win, it is DESPITE lovie and the coaching staff. they will not be any good until lovie is gone. he is a defensive coodinator at best. i have no doubt that he will get another chance to be a head coach somewhere in the nfl, just as wade phillips and norv turner have. nfl head coach is one of the only jobs in america where you can be completely inept and still get several shots to prove otherwise.

if the bears organization gets a clue any time soon, they will get rid of smith and hire bill cowher or spagnuolo from the giants. a good head coach could easily have gotten this team into the playoffs, and then who knows how far they could go...

As Bear fans [well most of us on this board I think??] our hopes took a shot in the heart with the Vikings dismantling of the Cardinals, Chicago definitely faces an uphill battle now. Chicago must now beat a Green Bay team that seems to give them problems, then go down to Houston and beat a Houston team that doesn't look that bad as of late. Then hope both Atlanta & New York can beat the Vikings, with the injury to one side of the Williams wall [that should not be playing right now anyways] this could happen, Turner the burner could have his way with the Vikings, so could the Giants with big Brandon Jacobs, heres for hoping!!

I would like to see the Bears make it to the post season, Im not ready for Bear football to be over. A lot of fans think the Bears will be one and done even if they do make it, maybe, but then again, maybe not. Think about it, if the Bears do make it, it will be as division champs, this means they will host someone, maybe Tampa Bay or Atlanta?? Chicago could beat any one of these teams, they almost did this season, Chicago lost to Carolina, Tampa Bay, and Atlanta to a combined 8 points!! This time it will be cold and windy, the Bears could win. I realize the Bears are not the perfect team, but this is the team I choose to root for, no one is making me root for the Bears. This Bear team is not perfect, but what team is??? If some of you guys think the Bears are so bad, think of what fans of Detroit, Green Bay, St. Louis, Oakland, Kansas City etc etc etc... I think any one of these fan bases would trade situations with us. I like the Chicago Bears, there my team, they are not perfect, but who cares??!! The Bears are still a competitive team, you can't take that away from the Bears, thats why I say GO BEARS!!

My sales pitches for the offseason. (Through obviously fantasy)

Drop: Adrian Peterson, Marty Booker, maybe Lloyd, St. Clair, Taylor, Hillenmeyer, maybe Vasher, and maybe Brown depending on his continuing health status.

Pick up: T.J. Houshmandzadeh CIN, maybe Devery Henderson WR NO, UFA, maybe Jabar Gaffney WR NE, Jordan Gross OL CAR, Mark Tauscher OL GB, Albert Haynesworth TEN, Terrell Suggs BAL, and Julius Peppers CAR. Of course some of these guys' teams will most likely resign them, but I would LOVE to see T.J. and possibly Peppers in Navy Blue and Orange gear. But thats just my dreams and hopes. If anyone has thoughts on the odds of any of these players becoming Bears or thoughts about the players in general do not hesitate to provide info.

Thank you to Val for posting the tie-breaking rules that everyone - including Biggsy - keeps getting wrong:

1. Head-to-head (best won-lost-tied percentage in games between the clubs).
2. Best won-lost-tied percentage in games played within the division.
3. Best won-lost-tied percentage in common games.
4. Best won-lost-tied percentage in games played within the conference.

Minnesota holds the edge in both division record and common games. If Chicago loses to Green Bay they hold a 3-3 division record to Minnesota's 4-2 record and Minnesota takes the division.

If Chicago wins against Green Bay the next tie-breaker would be COMMON GAMES not conference games. Chicago trails in this as well with a record of 6-6 to Minnesota's 8-5. Even if Chicago beats Green Bay and Minnesota loses to Atlanta, Minnesota goes to the playoffs in event of a tie.

The only scenario where Chicago makes the playoffs is for them to win out and Minnesota to lose out. Conference record means ABSOLUTELY NOTHING at this point.

ps. Mike if you need attention that badly please buy a puppy.

Val, Berrian is not the reason we may not make the playoffs.

First off, he was given $40+ million reasons to leave. The Bears offered him roughly $28 million and he rightly turned it down for the bigger pay day.

Secondly, if Berrian resigned with the Bears Lance Briggs would have been gone. Angelo made it clear that they had only enough money to sign one of the two players. The way the Defense has played this year I don't think Berrian and the Bears offense could have overcome the lose of Lance Briggs !!

The real reason we probably won't make the playoffs this year goes back to games in week(2), week(3) and week(6). Those would be the losses to Carolina, Tampa in OT and the last second meltdown vs Atlanta... ALL three teams are playoff contenders or already wrapped up a playoff spot... If the Bears could have held on to just ONE of the games, the playoff scenario's would be alot different for the Bears...

Berrian was way too expensive to keep, if you wish to blame Angelo for the Bears failures then blame his misses on draft day ie...

Cade McCLown, Columbo, Benson, Bradley, Grossman, MetCalf, Wolfe, Bauzin, Okwo, Airese Currie, Leon Joe, Claude Harriott, Craig Krenzel, Michael Haynes, Tron Lafavor, Roosevelt Williams, Bobby Gray, Brian Knight, Jamin Elliott ect...ect...ect.....

GO Bears !!


If we blame Angelo for McNown can we blame him for Wanny as well?

Replace Cade McNown with David Terrell and your list is much more accurate.

Also, drafting the pre-injured Chris Williams looks like yet another stellar Jerry "Watch me out-smart everyone by reaching with every pick" Angelo pick.

Matt Forte looks like an absolute steal so give Angelo props to that. But like they say, the sun shines on a dog's butt every now and then.

"ps. Mike if you need attention that badly please buy a puppy."

Thanks for the advice Da Church, but actually I already have two pooches. They're smart dogs, smarter than some people apparently, because they've never said anything as asinine as, "Orton is a top 5 QB."

Bob D:

I agree with you, the coaching staff is the reason that the Bears are most likely not in the playoffs this year, plain and simple.

The Bears players were not ready for the first part of the year with losses to Carolina, Atlanta and Tampa Bay. Coaching was the problem, Lovie, Turner and Babich are the problem. Win one of those and the Bears would be most likely in the playoffs.

Lets review the play calling this year. How many times did we line up and use the fullback plunge and it was stuffed at least three times in critical situations. I can recall it working once. We were on the 50 with time running out needing a field goal to win after blowing the lead at Carolina, again poor play calling , even the announcers questioned it. Against Minnesota on the goal line the same three predictable plays up the middle against the Williams Wall, stupid, stupid. Even kicking a field goal in that situation and the Bears most likely go into halftime up 10 to 3 instead of down 17-7. They had been dominationg and might have pulled that game out.

The fact that the defense is now mediocre is evident, what is it ranked somewhere around 15th to 17th in the league. The Bears always used to be in the top for points allowed, not anymore. Babich and Lovie did not have the D ready to play until week 10 that is pathetic, the D in most cases lost the games that would have had the Bears in the playoffs.

Can anyone truly make a case that the Bears have made any significant halftime adjustments this year, last year, the Super bowl year or the two years that Steve Smith beat the Bears in the playoffs because of no halftime adjustments to double cover him, despite the fact he was destroying the BEARS in each of these two playoff games.

If somehow the Bears could get MIke Singletary, he would put together a team of winners. It is simply amazing what he has done with the Niners and he clearly is a leader with a winners mentality and does not accept mediocrity in the teams performance.

I feel that when I hear Lovie speak about the team, the win the loss etc. etc. It reminds me of Mr. Rodgers talking about his neighborhood in his sweater.

By Da Church of Da Coach:

"ps. Mike if you need attention that badly please buy a puppy."

Coach why would you suggest that. What did puppies ever do too you to wish that apon them?

If he wants attention that bad Brando is always looking for a good time, those nice young ladies can Chatty Patty eachother all day.

By Brad Biggs:

"Your telling me Tampa Bay losing to San Diego AND Oakland at home is not improbable?


Atlanta losing to St. Louis in the Georgia Dome isn't improbable?

Have you seen much of the Chargers, Raiders and Rams lately? Check the record of West Coast teams traveling East this season too. I believe it's 1-and-a-lot-of-losses.

Then, the Bears need Dallas to nose dive and Philly has to lose in there somewhere.

If that is not improbable, I don't know what is. Nothing should surprise you in the NFL but counting on San Diego, Oakland and St. Louis down the stretch amounts to fantasy football. Hey, at least the Bears aren't banking on Detroit to win a game."

I got no problem saying it. Thats not gonna happen. You know what else isn't gonna happen? The Bears winning out. Have you seen Houston play? Andre Johnson is gonna treat Tillman like I treat Brando and Steve Slaton and Matt Schaub are really good. Plus in the last 4 games there defense has gotten it together.

LOL, Creighton! I counter you in one post and all of a sudden I'm your worst enemy. You know, I'm sorry buddy, but when the Bears have a winning record, and we face two middle-of-the-road teams, I'm not going to automatically declare the opposing teams the victors. You can attack me, Biggs, Kevin and Santa Claus all you want, but I think the Bears are very much alive in the playoff hunt. And if they lose in the first round, so what? Personally I'll be grateful enough to watch my team one last time before the sesason's over.

"Andre Johnson is gonna treat Tillman like I treat Brando..."

So in other words, Johnson's gonna dress up in leather chaps and a sailor cap, put a blindfold over Tillman's eyes and then tell him the safety word is "Oklahoma?" I don't believe I follow, Creighton.

LIFE Support Baby, its better than DEAD which are the current hopes for the playoffs with the hated Pack.....hey Packerslacker still want to see you on Monday night, and put some more lipstick on that"pig" of a team you all have up there in Green Bay......

As far as the playoffs, let's be realists here. You're 3-3 in the last 6 games, and two of your wins came from horrible teams. The one decent win that you had was against a team who has not been impressive, was then 7-6, and it was a home game where the opposing team is accustomed to playing in a warm climate. Congrats (please note the sarcasm).

Concerning the losses, 2 of them you completely got routed (which includes the 34-14 loss to the Vikes).

I've heard some people talking about the bears "getting hot at the wrong time". Really? A win against Jacksonville and New Orleans means you're hot now? Wow.

On the other hand, conforming with the previous 6 game limit aforementioned, the Vikes are 5-1 and their sole loss had a margin of less than a touchdown. To me a "streak" like that is much more impressive.

If the Vikes do beat the Falcons this Sunday I will be rooting for the Bears to take the improbable wild card. If it comes down to it it'll be an easy post season win for the purple and gold.

Mike: 'Thanks for the advice Da Church, but actually I already have two pooches. They're smart dogs, smarter than some people apparently, because they've never said anything as asinine as, "Orton is a top 5 QB."'

Yeah, Mike make sure when you quote people you do it out of context and make crap up to boot! That really exemplifies the type of "character" you have.

What I said was Orton was a top-5 quarterback prior to his injury. If you look at the numbers - you know FACT-type stuff - he was 143 of 230 for 1,669 yards and 10-4 TD-to-Int ratio in the first seven games of the season. That put him in the top 5 of QB's at the time. I was actually unaware of that until I heard it from Hub Arkush so I cannot attribute this FACT to my own research but I do assert (after looking at the numbers) that it was a FACT.

Also, if you're dogs are as smart as you say, you may want them to proof your posts before you go full-retard with your posts each day. Just a thought.

Da Church of Da Coach, actually, Angelo wasn't responsible for David Terrell either? Jerry Angelo's first draft as the Bears GM was the 2002 famed Marc Colombo draft, Terrell was the Bears first rounder in 2001. Colombo wasn't a bad pick, Angelo's only mistake was not holding onto Colombo and playing him at right tackle, this would have saved the Bears from the whole Fred Miller ordeal.

You know I notice a lot of people have been digging on Gus Frerotte and Tavaris Jackson. And I am with you guys they deserve it, both of them suck. But I thought for fun maybe I should take a look at the numbers Now to be fare I wanted Orton to be able to stand on his own but Rex played a game and a half however I don't think it is fare to put those numbers on Orton. But I did give him the passing attempts and yards. I left off the Rex's INT's and TD's. I thought that seemed pretty fare, I also didn't change the percentages for Orton cause that would have lowered his stats. Also to be fare the Vikings run the ball a lot more than the Bears, despite Lovies claims that the Bears are a running team, so I put up those numbers as well.

First the Vikings combined QB totals.

Comp Att Pct Yds Avg TD INT Sack Rate Fumbles Lost
228 388 58.3 2741 6.9 18 16 38 81.96 2

Now for Orton who stats I actually boosted to help out

268 463 58.9 2843 6.4 15 10 24 80.1 5

So the great Orton puts up numbers Similar to those two almost Identical in many places. You got 18 TD's and 18 turnovers for the Vikes QB's and 15 TD's and 15 Turnovers for Orton, there is only 100 yards difference and the Bears made 75 more attempts. Pct is about the same, Rating is about the same, Average is close. The Vikes QB's have been sacked a lot more and have been under more pressure.

So the Vikes QB's who suck put up numbers really similar to Orton who is great. Hmmmmm that seems strange to me. We both have good running backs and the Bears Oline is better than there's, just look at the sack totals. They have better recievers but we have better TE's. Plus there coach is worse than ours. Now these numbers are raw and need a little work but without a doubt The numbers are close as can be. It might also help people to know that the Vikings who are a running team have run the ball 461 times and passed the ball 390 times. Now the Bears who get off the bus running have run the ball 390 times and passed the ball 464 times. Thats a strange looking running team.

So Orton=Vikes QB's stats. Vikes QB's=garbage thus Orton is great because he has a neckbeard. Oh wait it's his ankle. But thats strange cause after the Rams game everyone was like his ankle is fine. But then when he has a bad game 2 weeks later it must be the ankle. I guess it's one of those sprains that come and go depending on how you play. Either way I think the Bears should give him a five year 100 million dollar contract. This guy is the best QB ever when his ankle isn't acting up. Look he ran for a TD, the ankle is fine yeah. Oh wait he just threw a pick, it's the ankle. Oh wait he just threw a TD yeah it's fine again. Oh wait he just threw another Pick, damn ankle. Oh wait he fumbled, why won't that ankle be good. I guess the Bears are stuck with good Rex bad Rex or Good Ankle bad Ankle.

Doesn't the Sun Times have a button that Vikings fans need to hit before trying enter a chat for Bears Fans. Who is this guy and how is he being allowed in here. Impeach Blago...... Impeach Vikes fan in Chicago ..... get him otta here!!!!!


You are correct; sorry about that. That was Hatley's last draft, Angelo didn't come on board until June ... so at least he's got that going for him which is good. :-)

Thanks for the correction.

" know FACT-type stuff..." -D.C. of D.C.

"Da Church of Da Coach, actually, Angelo wasn't responsible for David Terrell either?" -Tyler Durden

Yes, please, tell me all about this "fact-type stuff" you are an authority on.

You know, you use the word "retard" quite often. I wonder if maybe the glare on your monitor is so strong that you can see your reflection in it and, not surprisingly, write that word based on what you see all day.

Vikes fan, Packerbacker, poor fortune all these non-Bears fans keep coming to this site. I've never once gone to a Packs blog or a Vikes blog so why do they keep coming here? Gotta hand it to you Brad, the site's doing pretty well if the non-Bears fans can't resist but come here.

right on creighton, them stupid bear fans are always making up excuses for their qb go packers!!!!


First, when I read your post I read "good Ankiel or bad Ankiel" ... guess I'm already gearing up for spring training now that it looks like Chicago's playoff hopes are on life support.

Second, I couldn't disagree with you more. I think Orton played badly coming out of the injury. As a former quarterback I can tell you it is hard to play on a bad wheel when you're trying 1) to step into your throws and 2) not get hurt again when the pocket is collapsing.

The Vikings game was just plain bad ... ankle or not. But that also goes for the entire team and play-calling to boot.

In the New Orleans game, I thought the worst play he made was that pick he gift-wrapped to Fujita (sp?). Aside from that, the fumble - though attributed to Orton - was ALL on Kreutz not knowing the snap count. You saw no one on the entire line move except Olin. The other interception bounced off of stone-hands Rashied Davis. You also cannot discount the two big pass interference plays on Hester (though to be fair the one seemed uncatchable).

I think if Chicago can get a receiver (really this WR corp is comprised of 3's and 4's find me a 1 or 2!) and Chris Williams (yeah, I know, hoping against hope) can shore up the LT spot, Orton will have a lot of success with this offense ... possibly despite Ron Turner.

I see the slime did slide in on the blog again...packerbacker who says" right on creighton, them stupid bear fans are always making up excuses for their qb go packers!!!!" not going to work packerslacker....Ole, Creighton may be a scrooge sometimes but he's a BEAR fan don't try to ride on his coatails on the guys suck and are already out of the hunt, you come on our blog to learn about the game since everyone's fingers are so full of cheese up there they can't type on a keyboard........Yeah right go packers, go straight to hell in a handbasket....your'e done...

my man chicago hates vikes good job, jumping on the vikes bum who dropped in, glad you got him before I got back on the site....yes they are winning, but the still have to finish the job to get in and I'm not ready to concede anything to the Vikes just yet....

Go BEARS 10-6 or Bust!

Maybe I'm confused but I thought this was a Sun Times blog, and not a Bears blog.

Yes, I do understand that the Bears and the Sun Times are both located in Chicago, but never would I go to a Bears site and peruse the forums there.

I do applaud your faith Bears fans, but a huge cloud fell over Chicago after the Vikes/Cards game.

Honestly if you look at the situation with Carolina playing the Giants this week, the Vikes have a better chance getting a 2 seed in the playoffs than the Bears do even making it in.

Maybe I'm just still bitter about the Twins/Sox...

Vikes fan in Chicago: "Maybe I'm confused but I thought this was a Sun Times blog, and not a Bears blog.

Yes, I do understand that the Bears and the Sun Times are both located in Chicago, but never would I go to a Bears site and peruse the forums there."

I think you are confused because your on "Inside the Bears" blog by Brad Biggs. I don't know how much clearer it could be; there is a banner at the top of the page that says "Inside the Bears" and is blog after blog about the Chicago Bears.

Personally I don't care who posts here but to say "you would never go to a Bears site and peruse the forum" ... You're doing EXACTLY that thing right now! Do the words "cognitive disonance" resound anywhere?

Da bring the heat again my friend...beat me to the punch, to the vikes fan, but I wholeheartedly concur........

I'm glad we are out - now we can concentrate on next years draft and getting rid of Babich/Turner. Can we please draft or buy a OG/RT/DE? and another WR wouldn't hurt. Terrel? How could anyone even bring up his name maybe mention Thomas as well huh? Correcto mundo alot of bad drafts, but someone picked that 2006 Team? and someone took them to the SB? Maybe in 2026 we will return! Go Bears 2026!!

You are on it! Don't see Bears fans on their sites!
Nice Back there chitown as well!
Alot of fans probably think I am down on the Bears and I am, I am upset that we let some games slip away that we should have won, and then we would have a legit shot at the playoffs instead of hoping/dreaming that another team loses. Thats just wrong, hoping another team loses so we can get in the playoffs.
Things need to change next year for sure as some of these losses were pathetic. I feel we do have a good nucleus, we need a good draft, and get rid of Babich/Turner, and we will be fine, but maybe that should have happened last year?

Well, too bad for the Bears the Vikings are a pretty good team. They seem to be showing that sense of urgency that has been absent from the Bears since 2006. Arizona came out flat, and the Vikings aggressively took full advantage. They have superior talent, and possibly the best player in the game.

But they still have to face 2 supremely talented teams. And with the Pat "the fat" Williams out for both, Turner, and the Terrible Triad will expose their weakness. The Vikings also have a huge disadvantage at the QB position. Are you kidding me? Frerrotte or Jackson vs. Matt Ryan and Eli Manning? Mismatch.

It's good that Atlanta has a lot to play for.
It's bad that NYG, no matter the result on Sunday with Carolina, will have nothing but football pride to play for the final week.

But none of that should have any bearing on the motivation for the Bears on Monday Night. It is Packer Week. Bears owe them a beating. If the Bear's aggressiveness is described as anything less than Borderline Insane, then it will be dissappointing.

I have the NFL Ticket, and I will be watching.
1. Philly hosting the Redskins. The Bears need Philly to lose this one, but the Redskins are not very good right now, but they did beat the Eagles earlier in the season.
2. Dallas hosting Baltimore. It would obviously be better if the Cowboys lost, but it is not imperative as long as Philly loses this week, and then beats Dallas nest week. Then the Bears would win the tiebreaker with Dallas having the same conference record, and the Bears, somehow, manage to win some tiebreaker down the line.
3. Tampa hosting the Chargers. Hey, I know. It doesn't look good here. But if Greise starts again, and that San Diego team decides to play hard..... A lot of what if's, but most would agree that San Diego has a lot of individual talent that has come out in spurts this year, just not consistently. But maybe playing with no pressure is good for the Chargers, and they somehow get it done. However, TB then hosts the Raiders in the finale. So praying for a minor miracle.
4. Atlanta at Minnesota. Routing for the Falcons obviously. A tie would be best for Chicago, but that is too rare to count on. If the Falcons lose, then they will have to also lose the finale, but they play the Rams. Again a minor miracle.

**If Minnesota, TB, Philly and Dallas all win, there is no way possible (meaning mathematically) for the Bears to make the playoffs.
*If Minnesota does win, then Philly must lose this week for the Bears to have anything to play for in the finale.

Of course the Bears must win 3 games in row for the first time in 2 years. And against some teams they don't match up well with.

If I were a betting man (and I am not), I'd say their chances are 5% they make the playoffs.

Go Bears

Just remember Bear fans:
If Lovie wouldn't have called for that (stupid) squib kick, we would not be in this predicament.

If Lovie Smith could evaluate talent, then Anthony Adams and Corey Graham would be starters all year and we would have a comfortable lead.

If Lovie wouldn't have hired his buddy the defense would have been coached by a professional and we would be on top of the division.

If Lovie wouldn't have allowed that stupid call of fullback right into the "Williams Wall", the game might have ended differently.

Get rid of Lovie Smith.

Hey Brad, sorry if I bristled, but I think you misunderstood.

I just said not _all_ paths to the playoffs involve a series of improbable losses -- i.e. there are _some_ paths that don't involve improbable losses, and also _some_ that only involve 1 improbable loss.

I specifically counted both the ATL losing out path as well as the TB losing out path as relying on highly improbable losses.

But the Bears only need 1 of those 2 to happen if MIN beats ATL next week, and possibly neither of them if ATL wins.

Assuming a huge upset doesn't happen, the remaining path that is still quite realistic is:
- ATL beats MIN, NYG beats MIN => division

Here are the two paths involving only 1 highly improbable loss:
- BAL beats DAL, PHI beats DAL, WAS beats PHI, and:
... if MIN beats ATL, then STL beats ATL => wildcard.
... if ATL beats MIN, then SD beats TB, OAK beats TB => wildcard.

At the time you posted the entry, DAL had yet to beat NYG, and had NYG won instead, there would have been 4 times as many paths in the "1 highly improbable loss" category -- hence why I started writing the comment. Alas, the possibilities narrowed considerably by the time I actually posted after the DAL win.

But you're right, the Bears chances are still fairly slim. The division title is the one that requires the least games (2) to go a particular way. The wildcard paths now all require 5 or 6 games to go a particular way together -- which makes the aggregate probability quite low.

In fact, using Vegas odds on those games, I'd say the Bears have less than 2% chance of getting the wildcard help they need. By contrast, they have around 14-20% chance (depending on what line they set for NYG@MIN next week) of getting the division help they need.

(Sadly had NYG beat DAL, I estimate they'd have had around 7-13% chance of getting the wildcard help they needed. Since the events are independent, that'd have been a joint probability of 20-30% of getting the help they needed. Too bad.)

If you're really curious I can give you the numbers and calculations, but most people aren't into all that =).

If we assume the Bears chances of winning out are ~40% (using the GB@CHI line and a guess at next week's CHI@HOU line) and the probability of getting the help they need at 14.9-21.6% (from my last post)... that means the chances of them making the playoffs are around 5.9-8.6%.

Ryan's guess (in the post just above) was pretty close!

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This page contains a single entry by Brad Biggs published on December 14, 2008 8:59 PM.

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