Could the 8-4 Bears lose their final four games and still make the playoffs?
With 10 of the 16 teams in the NFC .500 or below, it's not an improbable scenario. The biggest threats would be the Redskins (6-6) and Vikings (6-6), both of whom would have to finish 7-9 because they would win 8-8 tie-breakers with the Bears. And the Redskins are on a roll with three consecutive victories behind rookie quarterback Robert Griffin.
It's possible the Giants (7-5) and/or Seahawks (7-5) -- both currently in the NFC playoff bracket -- could fail to make the playoffs, which would open up an additional berth for an 8-8 Bears team to sneak in. The Giants have lost three of their last four games; The Seahawks will be without cornerback Brandon Browner, who dropped the appeal of his four-game suspension for violating the league's drug policy and will miss the rest of the regular season. But both teams would win tie-breakers with the Bears and would have to finish 7-9.