The Chicago Bears are currently 4-5 and in 3rd place in the NFC North. Not exactly a position that would scream "PLAYOFFS", but as it stands, there's still a chance.
It's worth noting upfront that the Chicago Bears are playing good football right now. They looked great against the San Diego Chargers last Monday night, and they looked great against the St. Louis Rams on Sunday. So we're not trying to hang our hat on some desperate calculation that would have our Bears backing in to the playoffs with a zero percent chance at actually winning anything. The Bears are on fire, and could compete with most any team in the NFC right now.
Remaining on the schedule:
- vs. Broncos (7-2; two game losing streak, injured Peyton Manning)
- at Packers (6-3, three game losing streak)
- vs. 49ers (3-6 and not very good)
- vs. Redskins (4-5 and very beatable)
- at Vikings (7-2; this is a key must-win)
- at Buccaneers (4-5 and very beatable)
- vs Lions (2-7 and very beatable)
With the Bears on a hot streak and their next two opponents floundering, let's just say they pull off the upset in both. Statistically it's not likely, but it absolutely could happen. Both the Broncos and Packers have been exposed, and the Bears have been out-coaching most of their opponents all season long, and could put together a game-plan that exploits their opponents weaknesses.
After that, four out of five teams are very beatable, with only the Vikings standing in the way. So if the Bears pull off these next two games, they would have one significantly tough challenge remaining on the schedule, and if they're going to have a shot at the playoffs, they might as well face a playoff-caliber team along the way.
Statistically, the Bears are still in the playoff hunt. According to FiveThirtyEight, they currently have a 14% chance at making the postseason.
When you look at the current NFC standings, the Falcons are sitting in what would be the #1 Wild Card spot, and the Packers at #2. So if the Bears ran the table for the rest of the season, the wouldn't need much help outside of the Packers dropping a couple more games along the way.
There are a lot of if's in this discussion, but it's a legitimate thought process.
If the Bears can get past the Broncos and packers, they could be setting themselves up for an unlikely post-season run.