Chicago Sun-Times

Look at the NFC Playoff Picture

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There will be more clarity next week, but the Bears lost their ability to control their own playoff fate today.

Now they need help, although they appear to have the easiest remaining schedule of potential playoff teams.

Here's a closer look at how the NFC stands:

1) Atlanta Falcons (12-2) -- They've already clinched the NFC South and are in the driver's seat for the NFC's top seed. at Detroit Lions (4-10), host Tampa Bay Buccaneers (6-8)

2) San Francisco 49ers (10-3-1) -- Major statement game by defeating the New England Patriots... at Gillette Stadium.
at Seattle Seahawks (9-5), host Arizona Cardinals (5-9)

3) Green Bay Packers (10-4) -- Clinched NFC North at Soldier Field with a 21-13 victory over the Bears Sunday.
host Tennessee Titans (4-9), at Minnesota Vikings (8-6)

4) Washington Redskins (8-6) -- Kirk Cousins with a huge victory in Cleveland, starting in place of rookie Robert Griffin III. Redskins hold the tie-breaker in the NFC East.
at Philadelphia Eagles (4-10), host Dallas Cowboys (8-6)

5) Seattle Seahawks (9-5) -- One of the hottest teams in the league, winning three in a row and scoring 108 points in the last two games.
host San Francisco (10-3-1), host St. Louis Rams (6-7-1)

6) Vikings (8-6) -- Powered by Adrian Peterson, they've won two in a row, but they have a daunting finish. They have the tie-break advantage over Bears because of the head-to-head loss and the advantage over Cowboys because of a better conference record -- for now.
at Houston Texans (12-2), host Packers (10-4)

7) Bears (8-6) -- Losers of five of six, they also have a 5-5 conference record. That would hurt them if they have the same overall record as the New York Giants (7-4 in NFC). Bears did beat the Cowboys, though, and their final two opponents have already been mathematically eliminated from the postseason.
at Cardinals (5-9), at Lions (4-10)

8) Cowboys (8-6) -- They've won three in a row, and they have the edge on the Giants but not the Bears or Vikings.
host New Orleans Saints (6-8), at Redskins (8-6)

9) Giants (8-6) -- The defending Super Bowl champs have lost three of five, including an embarrassing 34-0 debacle to the Falcons Sunday.
at Baltimore Ravens (9-5), host Eagles (4-10)

10) Rams (6-7-1) -- They had been playing well but they were handled 36-22 by the Vikings Sunday.
at Buccaneers (6-8), at Seahawks (9-5)

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17 Comments

Sean, if both the Bears and Giants win out but the Vikings lose, the Giants leapfrog the Bears for a playoff spot. How can this be?

Cowboys are the key. As of now they keep the Giants from going head to head with the Bears due to Division ties being settled first. If Bears and Giants win out the Cowboys will no longer be part of the equation as they will have lost or won the Division by winning out.

In other words had the Cowboys lost today then the Giants would be ahead of the Bears already.

I guess I'm missing something. Why do we want the Bears in the playoffs? They'll almost certainly be one and done, and making the playoffs might give Lovie the cred to get an extension. After today's disaster, is that really what some of you people want? To see his clueless, stone-faced mug on the sidelines for another three seasons? Let's hope they lose their next 2 games and that gets us a new coach, a new OC, and at least one or two positions higher in the draft--hard as it'll be--put to use in getting some linemen.

Playoffs?! Playoffs?! The worst thing that could happen is the Bears make the playoffs, because doing so might prevent them from replacing Lovie Smith. Even if they were to get there, they won't win. I expect the coaches and players to do the best they can every game and as a Bear fan I will be rooting for them to win, but in the big picture, much better to lose the next two battles so we have a chance of winning the war, so to speak.

Does it matter if Bears get in? They will get killed in Wild Card game and just might keep Lovie and Co. around. It's sad to say but I hope they don't get in then CLEAN HOUSE!!

I doubt the Bears make the playoffs now, I don't know if they can even beat the Cardinals or the Lions. Chicago's offense is as bad as I've seen them in years, and this is with a record breaking receiver, Brandon Marshall set the team record for catches this season, and a former Pro-Bowl QB & RB. What does this tell us, its the play calling, I'm sorry, but Mike Tice has got to go. I see a coaching change on the horizon anyways, Lovie Smith and co will probably be done at seasons end, and maybe its for the best.

The Bears need to break the traditional mold and hire an offensive minded coach, Mike Holmgren would be the guy I'd go after. I know the line sucks, that will be GM Phil Emery's job to bring in some linemen that can actually block. But Chicago's skilled guys can win in this league. There are a handful of teams out there that would love Cutler, Forte, Marshall, and even rookie Alshon Jeffery. The Bears have the talent, they just need the right coaching staff to get it done, again, I think Mike Holmgren is that guy? Holmgren got a lot out of Brett Favre and Matt Hasselbeck, why couldn't he with Cutler? Its gonna be interesting to see who Emery goes after at seasons end, oh well GO BEARS!!

SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO...like...yeah!

No they don't have the talent. You want to be the best you have to beat the best. Take the 49ers who are the current bench mark. Better coaching, better offense, better defense, more talent everywhere. You like the Bears defense? Tell them to get off the field and stop hoping for a turnover plus they are old. On offense, the 49ers have the best line in football the Bears have the second worst and need 5 new linemen. At the skill positions, Forte is nothing special he can catch out of the backfield but that is a much smaller part of his job, short yardage, and between the tackles he is as bad as anyone and proved it again this week. At TE they are a joke and don't have anyone any other team would want. At receiver claiming Jeffery is good is a joke, he has done nothing, nothing but penalties and injuries. You have Marshall and what is left of Cutler who is not going to last much longer his body is breaking down. The 49ers, best O-line, Frank Gore, Davis, Crabtree, Manningham, Moss, Harbaugh, Kap, it's not even close. Same goes for teams like the Pats and Falcons who are better from top to bottom.

but then again all of you bear hating morons would eat crow if the bears id get in, headed to green bay with a healthy defense and knocked the packers out of playoff contention. the bears, when healthy, do have the best defense in the nfl.

No they don't. The 49ers do and have been the best all year. Seattle is also better. Bears defense is decent when when fully healthy, but how many power offenses have they played? Wow they beat Ponder, once. The Packers are not a great team or great offense this year, could of tossed 27 on the Bears D without blinking if not for a bad kicker. They are blessed with teams like Arizona, Carolina, Detroit, Jacksonville, Minnesota. The Bears have been healthier than any other team in the nfl until the last couple of weeks. The D is soft and passive aggressive just like the head coach. Tough offenses like the 49ers beat the snot out of them. You know other teams have a lot of injuries to.

I've been pushing for Holmgren from the moment he quit the Cleveland Browns.

Sean, great job by you as usual. I do have one question. Why are the Vikings ahead of the Bears? Don't the Bears have the edge in net points in the two games they split with each other?
Please advise.
Thanks in advance for the qucik reply.

Look, for those of you who think won't beat the Cardinals you are crazy. The Lions will be more formidable, but Lovie et al will win in Detroit. As bizarre as it seems the players like the Lovester and don't want to see him get fired. Now, the Giants will lose to the Ravens and the Redskins will crush Dallas. Bears will make it into the frozen tundra and get their brains smashed in. But, hey, at least we'll have football in January!

The Bears need to make the playoffs because, in effect, a new season starts then, and anything can happen. Look at the Packers and Giants' Super Bowl wins. They gelled at the right time and got a few breaks, but they both came out as Super Bowl winners. Don't forget that the Bears won the Division the year the Packers won the Super Bowl. I wish I was as optimistic as you, bearsfaninmd, about the Bears making the playoffs. I think the odds are a bit in their favor, but not much. A key is the Ravens beating the Giants. I hope you are right, but I do not like going against either one of the Manning brothers, even though Eli has not looked good lately.

Who are all of you people wishing that the Bears don't make the playoffs? Are you just a bunch of cheeseheads in disguise? You use the situation to take shots at your favorite scapegoat of the moment, but you can't honestly believe that our team has a better chance of winning a championship if they don't make the playoffs. Do you imagine some magic pot of gold at the end of some imaginary rainbow? Do you envision that if we make the certain off-season moves that you approve, we will just be so invincible that a title will be inevitable? Even the perfect Pats couldn't predict exactly how sticky the side of Tyree's helmet was. The super bowl will be won on February 3rd. As a Chicago fan, I hope the Bears will be there.

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This page contains a single entry by Sean Jensen published on December 16, 2012 10:57 PM.

Bears QB Jay Cutler: 'I'm not 100 percent' was the previous entry in this blog.

Mike Pereira says Bears stung by two rules NFL is emphasizing is the next entry in this blog.

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