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Chicago Bears playoff scenarios: Team could still win NFC North

Matt Nagy
Head coach Matt Nagy was pretty excited after his team beat the Dallas Cowboys. Pic credit: Chicago Bears

The Chicago Bears’ playoff scenarios look a lot brighter after beating up on the Dallas Cowboys last night. In fact, the team still has a shot at winning the NFC North if the dominos fall right this season.

Winning on Thursday Night Football improved the Bears to 7-6 and helped the team make up some ground on the Green Bay Packers (9-3) and Minnesota Vikings (8-4). But now they need some more help.

Let’s be realistic from the jump — the Bears don’t have good odds at making the NFL playoffs. Not only do they need to win their last three games (against the Packers, Vikings, and Kansas City Chiefs) to get to 10-6, but they are also going to need other teams to win or lose the right games.

Chicago Bears playoff scenarios

In a possible, though difficult result to achieve, a three-way tie at 10-6 atop the NFC North would favor the Bears. It would likely result in the Bears having a better divisional record than the Packers and Vikings. But how do they get there?

To win the NFC North, the Bears need to beat the Packers and also have them lose two of their final three remaining games. The Packers play the Washington Redskins, Minnesota Vikings, and Detroit Lions.

The Bears want the Packers to beat the Vikings, but lose to the Redskins and Lions. That’s a tough ask — but the result, coupled with the Bears winning their last three games, gives the Bears an NFC North title.

A more realistic way for the Bears to make the NFL playoffs is as a Wild Card team. If the Packers win just two of their remaining four games, they will have an 11-win season that the Bears can’t match.

That makes it easier to try to chase down the Vikings and Los Angeles Rams (7-5) — but they still need help.

The bad news is that the Rams already beat the Bears this season, so they need to lose at least two more games.

That might be possible, as the Rams play the Seattle Seahawks, San Francisco 49ers, Dallas Cowboys, and Arizona Cardinals to wrap up the regular season. If the Rams finish at 9-7, a 10-6 Bears team will stay ahead of them.

If the Bears can win their final three games and the Vikings lose at least two games, it will create a tie for the second Wild Card spot. The Bears would win that tiebreaker and secure a place in the NFL playoffs.

The teams left on the schedule for the Vikings are the Lions, Los Angeles Chargers, Packers, and Bears.

It’s a tough road ahead, but the Chicago Bears are still in the thick of things when it comes to competing for a spot in the NFL playoffs. At least by beating the Dallas Cowboys, the rest of the season will be exciting to watch.

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