It all falls on Hanie for now. The Bears, on a hot streak of five consecutive wins, have not budged from their place in the wild card standings for several weeks, but Week 12 could have a big effect on that.
Hit the jump for the NFC top 10, rooting interests, and the common opponent tracker.
|1||1||Green Bay Packers||(10-0)||(8-0)||(3-0)||10W|
|2||2||San Francisco 49ers||(9-1)||(7-1)||(2-0)||8W|
|3||4||New Orleans Saints||(7-3)||(4-3)||(3-1)||2W|
|8||4||New York Giants||(6-4)||(3-4)||(1-2)||2L|
What a difference a week makes. After a big loss to the Eagles, the Giants fell from their divisional perch all the way to eight in the overal NFC standings. The Eagles moved back into the top ten, and right now, you can't quite mathematically count them out yet.
The Buccaneers are nowhere to be found after standing toe-to-toe to the league leaders and losing, and the Falcons continue to nip at the wild card's heels.
We're starting to get a better look at where things are going--after Week 12--things should get even more clear. There are some big matchups this week, leading to...
BEARS at Oakland - Let's go, #12.
Green Bay at Detroit - This one is tough. While mathematically, the Division is still in play, given the Bears current situation, it's more fundamentally sound to hope for the solid footing in the Wild Card standings that a Green Bay win provides.
Miami at Dallas - At this point, rooting for America's team to win their division is the best hope for Bears fans, because they could compete with the Bears for a wild card spot. The Giants, on the other hand, have an extra conference loss and that's what helped their fall to eight in the conference.
San Francisco at Baltimore - I want Jim to shake John's hand really hard.
Minnesota at Atlanta - Gotta push those birds back as much as possible.
New York Giants at New Orleans Saints - Keeps the Saints ahead of the Falcons (and Bears), and pushes the Giants farther away.
Washington at Seattle - Bears play the Seahawks, and this would help keep Seattle at bay, as they still are within sniffing distance.
New England at Philadelphia - I just like seeing the Eagles lose.
There you have it--the other games are fairly insignificant in terms of the Bears' playoff hopes, so we'll just ignore them for now. But hear me out--you're going to know a lot about this conference by the end of this weekend.
Bears and Lions Common Schedule
The common schedule between the Lions and Bears becomes ever more important this week, as the Bears and Lions again play common opponents. This week, the Bears have to take on the Raiders, a team the Lions have not yet faced.
The Lions take on the Packers, who the Bears lost to. It would be a nice touch for the Bears to beat the Raiders, and for the Lions to lose to the Packers, because that would give the Bears control of the fifth seed in the NFC for the first time this season.