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Bears-less Sunday: NFL Week 12 Pre-Party Open Thread

The Bears kept their faint playoff hopes alive with a win on Thanksgiving; today's games solidify just what kind of chances they have. We'll have rooting interests and more for you today!

Mike DiNovo-USA TODAY Sports

The Bears started the season looking like one of the doormats of the NFL, losing their first three games by a combined score of 46-105 (which is amusing considering those 46 points were scored in two games). Since then, they've won five of eight as the team has grown and made numerous changes:

  • Jimmy Clausen hasn't seen a snap since Seattle, and was since waived
  • Jared Allen, traded
  • Jon Bostic, traded
  • Jeremiah Ratliff, gone

Couple that with the recent surges in play from Willie Young, Lamarr Houston, and Tracy Porter (and maybe some fortunate scheduling?), and don't be too surprised that the team hasn't allowed more than 20 points scored against them since Week 8 against Minnesota and haven't lost a game by more than a field goal since... Week 3 against Seattle.

How embedded this team is in the playoff hunt is still to be determined, but they're playing like they're in until they're out. But of course, we like when other teams give them a hand. So how can the Bears get a little extra help while they're home recovering from their turkey comas?

Dane's got the full picture here (he does more around here than just troll you guys), but let's snapshot the remainder of the week, since the Bears did their job in taking down the Packers and the Lions knocked the Eagles behind the Bears.

Minnesota Vikings vs Atlanta Falcons: While a Falcons loss makes the wild card a little more achievable for the Bears, the division's still in reach, and winning the division is a lot simpler than hoping for wild card dominoes to fall. The Bears still have one more against the Vikings, but will need two more games of help to take the division. The Bears don't square with the Falcons, so they need help there either way. Take your pick, both impacts figure in helping the Bears' chances one way or another.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Indianapolis Colts: Colts. AFC > NFC.

Seattle Seahawks vs Pittsburgh Steelers: Steelers, AFC > NFC.

Basically, if the AFC is playing the NFC, you want the AFC to win.

No WCG Sunday Livestream today, as when this posts I'll be on the way out of town for the week, but we'll be back next week to go over the Bears' full playoff chances and other assorted Bears things before their game against San Francisco.

And of course, we'll have our usual gameday threads for you to enjoy today's games with.

What are you watching for today?