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Breaking down playoff scenarios

Posted Dec 18, 2013

There are a variety of different post-season scenarios entering Week 16 for the Bears, who could clinch the NFC North title with a win Sunday night and some help.

There are a wide variety of different playoff scenarios involving the Bears heading into Week 16.

The Bears (8-6) would clinch the NFC North title with a win Sunday night over the Eagles in Philadelphia coupled with losses by both the Packers (7-6-1) to the Steelers in Green Bay and the Lions (7-7) to the Giants in Detroit earlier in the day.

Matt Forte and the Bears are in quest of their first NFC North title since 2010.
If the Lions lose and the Packers win, Sunday night's game would be meaningless to the Bears in terms of the division race because the NFC North title would go to the winner of next weekend's season finale between the Bears and Packers at Soldier Field regardless of what transpires in Philadelphia.

If the Lions win and the Packers lose, the Bears would need to beat the Eagles to maintain control of their own destiny over Detroit while also eliminating Green Bay from playoff contention. The Bears would then need a win over the Packers or a loss by the Lions to the Vikings in Minnesota next weekend to claim the division crown.

If the Lions win and the Bears lose Sunday, the Bears would only win the division with a victory over the Packers coupled with a Detroit loss to the Vikings.

If the Bears, Packers and Lions all win or all lose Sunday, Detroit would be eliminated and the winner of next weekend's Chicago-Green Bay game would capture the NFC North title.

Regardless of Sunday's results, the Bears cannot be eliminated from playoff contention this weekend.

The Eagles (8-6) are in a similar situation to the Bears in the NFC East. If the Cowboys (7-7) beat the Redskins in Washington Sunday, Sunday night's game against the Bears would be meaningless to Philadelphia in terms of the division race because the NFC East title would go to the winner of the Week 17 battle between the Eagles and Cowboys in Dallas.

If the Bears win the NFC North, they would enter the playoffs as the third or fourth seed in the NFC and host a wildcard team in the first round Jan. 4 or 5 at Soldier Field.

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