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Can Bears win division if they lose to Packers?

Posted Dec 18, 2013

Senior writer Larry Mayer discusses whether the Bears can win the NFC North if they lose to the Packers in the season finale, a breakdown of two Long families and if Jay Cutler is forcing passes to Brandon Marshall.

Wondering about a player, a past game or another issue involving the Bears? Senior writer Larry Mayer answers a variety of email questions from fans on ChicagoBears.com.

I've been reading all the playoff possibilities and my head is spinning. I have only one question: Can the Bears win the division if they lose to the Packers in the season finale?

Thomas S.
Gurnee, Illinois

Yes, there are two scenarios where the Bears would win the NFC North even with a loss to the Packers in the season finale at Soldier Field. The Bears would clinch the division title with a win Sunday night over the Eagles coupled with losses by the Packers to the Steelers and the Lions to the Giants earlier in the day. Another way the Bears would win the division despite a loss to Green Bay is if they beat the Eagles, the Packers lose to the Steelers and the Lions beat the Giants but lose their season finale to the Vikings.  

So let me see if I'm following along here. Do the Bears and Rams have two pair of Long brothers?

Darin O.
Grass Valley, California

Yes, the Bears on Wednesday signed tackle Joe Long, who is the younger brother of Rams tackle Jake Long, who is teammates in St. Louis with defensive end Chris Long, who is the older brother of Bears guard Kyle Long, who is ... OK, I'll stop. I'm getting a headache. To put it simply, the Bears have two players named Long who both have brothers on the Rams.

It seems like Jay Cutler continues to force passes to Brandon Marshall, one of which resulted in an interception against the Browns. What were Cutler's stats in that game when throwing to Marshall compared to other wide receivers?

Pete F.
Oak Lawn, Illinois

Jay Cutler completed 6 of 13 passes to Brandon Marshall for 95 yards with one touchdown, two interceptions and a 57.1 passer rating against the Browns. When throwing to four other receivers (Martellus Bennett, Alshon Jeffery, Earl Bennett and Matt Forte), Cutler connected on 16 of 18 passes for 170 yards with two TDs, no interceptions and a 143.1 passer rating.

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