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2014 NFC Playoff Picture: Can the Chicago Bears make the Playoffs?

The Chicago Bears are 4-6, they just climbed up to 3rd place in the NFC North, and with a win this Sunday they'll have an honest to goodness winning streak on their hands. So yes. We're talking about playoffs.

Mike DiNovo-USA TODAY Sports

Before we get started, here's the most famous clip about playoffs ever filmed for your viewing pleasure.

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"What's that? Ah - Playoffs?"

Yes, playoffs. The Chicago Bears are only 4-6, but this is the NFL. You know, "Any Given' Sunday" and all that jazz... Who would have predicted the St. Louis Rams would knock off the Denver Broncos just two days ago? Who could have thought the New Orleans Saints would be 4-6 after 10 games?

Yeah the Bears were creamed by the Green Bay Packers a couple weeks ago, but the NFC East leading Philadelphia Eagles were nearly beaten just as bad last Sunday.

You want to talk about the week 9 New England Patriots massacre? OK, the Bears were handily defeated that week, but look at what the Pats have been doing to 1st place teams this season. They beat the 3-0 1st place Cincinnati Bengals 43-17. They knocked off the AFC West leading Denver Broncos 43-21. Then just this week they throttled the Indianapolis Colts 42-20.

"Don't talk about - playoffs?"

Why not? Until the Bears are mathematically eliminated, there's still a chance.

Yes. There's a chance.

Currently the Bears are 10th in the NFC and even though that 6th seed seems real far away, the Bears do have a few things going for them. The first tie breaker is head to head and the Bears hold that advantage over the 7th place San Francisco 49ers. They also beat the NFC West leading Atlanta Falcons who are 4-6 and potentially in the wild card mix. Chicago plays the 6th seed Dallas Cowboys in a few weeks and also the 9th place New Orleans Saints later this year. Beating those two teams would give them the tie breaker over four of the teams currently in front of them in the playoff standings.

"You kidding me? Playoffs? I just hope we can win a game! Another game."

Well, the Bears host the Tampa Buccaneers this Sunday. The Bucs are a 2 win team that has looked worse than the Bears. Hopefully they can win that one. If they pull off a second consecutive home win, then they'll be 5-6 and heading into Detroit for a Thanksgiving day match-up with much more to play for.

As bad as Jay Cutler has been against the Packers, he's been on the winning side of the scoreboard in 7 of 10 games against the Lions while a member of the Bears. He has thrown 15 TDs to just 5 Ints in those 10 games. Realistically, the Bears would probably need to sweep Detroit, but it's not like the Lions haven't choked down the stretch before.

If the Bears can find a way to win on Thanksgiving they'll be 6-6 heading into a three game home stretch before finishing up in Minnesota.

There are obviously some things going against the Bears, most obviously the sweep at the hands of the Packers. Winning the NFC North is unlikely because the 7-3 Packers probably aren't going to implode in their last 6 games. Chicago's best bet would be a wildcard and they'll need some help along the way.

Is a playoff berth likely? No.

But where there's hope (and math), there's a chance.