Thanks to the Detroit Lions, the Bears remain in the drivers' seat for the NFC North title, despite an embarrassing 36-7 loss Sunday at Soldier Field.
Currently, the Bears are 9-4, which would be good for the second seed in the NFC, behind the 11-2 Atlanta Falcons. The Philadelphia Eagles (9-4) are the third-seed, followed by the 6-7 St. Louis Rams. The current wildcards are the 10-3 New Orleans Saints and the 8-4 New York Giants.
The Giants play the Minnesota Vikings tonight at Ford Field in Detroit, and the game is significant on several levels. A Vikings loss would essentially ensure they do not win the NFC North again. They would move to 5-8, which means they'd need several other NFC teams to not win another game in the final three weeks. But, the Giants do have the victory over the Bears, which could prove important down the stretch for seeding positioning.
As noted yesterday, the Bears can clinch the NFC North by having the Green Bay Packers lose to the New England Patriots, in Foxboro, Mass., and then beating the Vikings next Monday night. If both scenarios happen, then the Bears would be guaranteed a better division record, which is the second tie-breaker.
The Bears didn't lose any ground in the battle with the Packers. But, they hurt their chances for the No. 1 seed in the NFC. The Falcons have two of their final three games at home, and their only difficult game is against the New Orleans Saints at the Georgia Dome, Dec. 27. Their other two games are against the Seattle Seahawks and the Carolina Panthers.