NFL playoff picture: How Bears can still return to playoffs as NFC wild card

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NFL playoff picture: How Bears can still return to playoffs as NFC wild card

The Chicago Bears’ disappointing 2019 NFL season nonetheless can finish with a playoff berth.

Following a breakout 2018 season, once they went 12-Four to win the NFC North, at 7-6 after Thursday evening’s 31-24 house win over the now 6-7 Cowboys, they nonetheless sit in third place within the division.

However the Bears at the moment are solely a recreation and a half out of the second wild-card place within the NFC playoff image, held by the Eight-Four Vikings, their second-place rivals from the NFC North. They’re No. Eight within the convention, additionally a half-game behind the 7-5 Rams.

However with three video games left to play, the Bears nonetheless have an opportunity to make up that floor and get redemption for all of the frustrations they’ve had in coach Matt Nagy’s second yr. The 9-Three Packers have put repeating within the division out of attain for Chicago, and both the 10-2 Seahawks or 10-2 49ers will get the No. 5 seed. This is what must occur for the Bears to sneak again into the playoff discipline at No. 6.

NFL POWER RANKINGS
Middling Bears enter Week 14 clinging to longshot playoff hopes

1. Bears must win out

The Bears will not be entering into the playoffs with 9 wins. The Vikings are effectively positioned to hit 10 wins after the following two weeks with matchups in opposition to the Lions and Chargers. So the Bears want to complete 10-6.

They received as slight underdogs to the Cowboys at house, however it will get significantly more durable than that in Weeks 15 and 16. First comes going through the Packers at Lambeau Subject, earlier than internet hosting the Eight-Four Chiefs in Soldier Subject. But when Chicago can get via all these obstacles, it could get a head-to-head shot to attempt to sweep the season sequence from the Vikings in Minnesota in Week 17.

For what it is price, the Bears have received Four of their previous 5 video games to have this longshot. Earlier than the Cowboys, three of these wins got here in opposition to the Lions (twice) and the Giants. Quarterback Mitchell Trubisky and the protection must maintain saving their finest for final with the diploma of issue raised for December.

The Bears began off effectively by successful in Week 14, now a recreation up plus a head-to-head tiebreaker on the Cowboys. The Eagles beat the Bears, however they have already got seven losses going into Week 14. Chicago would then not fear about both Dallas or Philadelphia within the wild card, with these groups’ solely playoff ticket being the NFC East title.

MORE: NFL playoff clinching eventualities for Week 14

2. Bears want Rams to lose twice

The Bears ending 10-6 would imply nothing to their playoff hopes except the Rams wrestle down the stretch. That is as a result of Chicago misplaced at Los Angeles in Week 11. The Bears must be a recreation forward of the Rams with the head-to-head tiebreaker out of their favor.

The Rams do have a tricky schedule, beginning with the Seahawks at house on Sunday evening in Week 14. Then they want to journey to the Cowboys and 49ers in Weeks 15 and 16. Their surefire win appears just like the Cardinals at house in Week 17, a staff the Rams simply throttled on the street in Week 13.

Between the Seattle, Dallas and San Francisco matchups, Los Angeles appears like it might drop two of three to carry down its finish of the discount for Chicago.

Three. Bears want Vikings to lose as soon as earlier than Week 17

The Vikings are heavy favorites at house in opposition to the Lions and will have comparable standing in what will really feel like an additional house recreation in Los Angeles in opposition to the reeling Chargers. The Bears cannot depend on both of these groups for assist.

However sure, meaning the Bears, if they’ll win the following three, would wish to root exhausting for his or her archrival Packers to complete a sweep of the Vikings in Minnesota in Week 16. With the Rams seemingly stumbling sufficient, that may arrange a winner-take-all wild-card play-in recreation between the Bears and Vikings in Minnesota.

The Bears are nonetheless extra more likely to be hibernating throughout the NFC playoffs, however stranger issues have occurred. Completely sleeping on Chicago could be a mistake, as a result of it nonetheless is gifted sufficient to make a closing run.

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