By now we are all holding onto the most fleeting hope that the Bears will somehow back themselves into the playoffs. Coming into this week, they needed help to just make Monday Night's game relevant. Well, Santa must have thought the Bears were really, really nice this year, because he delivered the chrome plated, turbo charged mamma jamma of all presents. Everybody that the Bears needed to lose did. Of course the Bears need to beat the Packers to take advantage off that good fortune.
If Minnesota had won they would have won the NFC North and thrown the Bears into a dog fight for a wild card spot, which they still could be in, but the safest means for the Bears to make it is for the Vikings to lose this and next weeks game and the Bears win out.
Here is what the standings currently look like by record excluding the Bears.
1) NY Giants 12-3
2) Carolina Panthers 11-4
3) Atlanta Falcons 10-5
4) Dallas Cowboys 9-6
5) Minnesota Vikings 9-6
6) Tampa Bay Buccaneers 9-6
7) Philadelphia Eagles 8-6-1
8) Arizona Cardinals 8-7
9) Washington Redskins 8-7
Then there are the Bears currently at 8-6. If the Bears win and move to 9-6 they are tied with the Vikings for first place in the NFC North. The Vikings hold the tiebreaker, so the Bears still need the Vikings to lose to the Giants, who have nothing left to play for next week. If the Vikings win they claim the division and the Bears now are back to needing a lot of help.
I haven't seen what our tie break record looks like compared to Dallas and Tampa Bay yet, but I'm not overly confident in that.
Next week the Cowboys play at Philadelphia and Tampa Bay hosts Oakland. It would seem likely Tampa beats Oakland, but Philly could take out Dallas. If the Bears beat Houston, the Bears and Tampa would go to the tie breaker situation for the last wild card spot.
Get in any way you get in, but lets start rooting for a Giants win and for the Bears to take care of some business tonight and next week.