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NFC Playoff Picture: A long road for the Bears starts in week 13

Despite a terrible loss to the Rams, the Bears aren't in too much worse shape thanks to the group of Schiano men. The problem is, they still pretty much need to win this division, and that isn't going to be easy.

Over there guys, over there. We wanna go over there.
Over there guys, over there. We wanna go over there.
Tim Fuller-USA TODAY Sports

Well that was an eventful week. No team even won in the NFC North. Suffice it to say, it didn't really help the Bears out. Given the status of tiebreakers and opponent records, the Bears are increasingly in a situation where they need to win the NFC North, and that's no small task given what lies ahead.

The Thanksgiving divisional matchup between the Lions and the Packers will go a long way towards spelling out what has to happen for the Bears in the next five weeks. Let's take a look at the conference standings, how the playoffs currently stand, and who we might want to root for this week.

Wk. Rank Team Div W L T Div Rec Conf Rec Wk13 Opponent
1 Seattle Seahawks West 10 1 0 3-0 7-0 Saints
2 New Orleans Saints South 9 2 0 2-0 7-0 @Seahawks
3 Detroit Lions North 6 5 0 3-0 5-3 Packers
4 Dallas Cowboys East 5 5 0 4-0 6-2 Raiders
5 Carolina Panthers South 8 3 0 2-0 6-2 Buccaneers
6 San Francisco 49ers West 7 4 0 2-1 4-3 Rams
7 Arizona Cardinals West 7 4 0 0-3 4-4 @Eagles
8 Philadelphia Eagles East 6 5 0 3-2 5-2 Cardinals
9 Chicago Bears North 6 5 0 2-2 3-5 @Vikings
10 Green Bay Packers North 5 5 1 2-1-1 3-4-1 @Lions

Admittedly, technically speaking, there are a couple of other teams you could consider in the hunt, the Rams and the Giants, but, realistically, I'm not doing that. If they prove me wrong this week and inject themselves into the conversation, good on them.

If the playoffs started today

First round bye: Seattle Seahawks, New Orleans Saints
Homefield advantage: Seattle Seahawks

Wildcard matchups: San Francisco 49ers @ Detroit Lions, Carolina Panthers @ Dallas Cowboys

To be fair, this would be a pretty stacked NFC postseason. I could easily see these being great games.

Rooting Interests

Saints @ Seahawks

I'm rooting Saints, just because I personally don't care for the Seahawks. Your mileage may vary. In terms of affecting the Bears, it doesn't too much. I guess theoretically you don't want the Saints to lose because if you got back in a wildcard race they'd just end up outranking you.

Packers @ Lions

Giant Meteor! No, just kidding. But seriously though. A tie would be great, but if someone has to win, go Packers. That way, if the Bears win this week, they at least get a glorious taste of a first-place position for a while.

Raiders @ Cowboys

Raiders. Losing Cowboys is funny, and could make the matchup against the Cowboys in two weeks even more important for the Bears.

Buccaneers @ Panthers

Go Bucs! Get your 7th overall pick and enjoy it.

Rams @ 49ers

Go Rams. Your advanced running game should clearly carry you to victory against the 49ers. Oh...wait, the 49ers tackle people? Never mind.

Cardinals @ Eagles

The Cardinals are having a great season, and a win over the Eagles coupled with a 49ers loss would put them in a wildcard slot.

Bears @ Vikings

I can't believe you would legitimately ask this.