The Bears were eliminated from playoff contention last weekend, but they still can knock the Packers out and also finish the season in multiple spots in the NFC North standings.
Here's everything you need to know about Week 18 scenarios:
Would a Bears win eliminate the Packers from playoff contention?
It depends on what happens in the noon games. Green Bay can still earn a wild card berth with a defeat to the Bears coupled with losses by the Vikings to the Lions, Seahawks to the Cardinals and either the Buccaneers to the Panthers or Saints to the Falcons. With three of those four games set to kick off at noon, the Packers could enter their late afternoon start with the Bears knowing they need a win to make the playoffs.
If the Packers can make the playoffs with an 8-9 record (after a loss in the finale), why couldn't the Bears qualify with an 8-9 record (with a win Sunday)?
Green Bay owns the tiebreaker. A win by the Bears would result in a split of the season series and give both teams 3-3 records against NFC North opponents. The third tiebreaker is record versus common opponents. The Bears and Packers have played 10 games against the same opponents: the Lions twice, the four teams in the NFC South and the four teams in the AFC West. The Bears are 4-6 in those games, while the Packers are 5-5.
What happens if the Bears finish in a three-way tie with the Packers and Vikings?
If the Bears beat the Packers and the Vikings defeat the Lions, Chicago, Green Bay and Minnesota all would finish with 8-9 records behind first-place Detroit. In that scenario, all three teams will have split the season series with each other and would finish with identical 3-3 division records. Like Green Bay, Minnesota has a 5-5 mark against common opponents, so the Bears would finish fourth. The Vikings would hold the tiebreaker over the Packers based on a better strength of victory. Minnesota can earn a wild card berth with a win over the Lions coupled with losses by the Packers to the Bears, Seahawks to the Cardinals and either the Buccaneers to the Panthers or the Saints to the Falcons.
Is there any way the Bears can finish in third place ahead of the Vikings?
Yes, but the only way for that to happen is if the Bears beat the Packers and the Vikings lose to the Lions. If Chicago and Minnesota both lose Sunday and finish with 7-10 records, the Vikings would finish ahead of the Bears because of their better record against common opponents.
Where the Bears finish in the standings will determine three of their 2024 opponents; they'll play teams that end up in the same position in the NFC South and AFC East at home and NFC East on the road. Teams in those respective divisions in third place are the Falcons, Jets and Giants, while fourth-place teams are the Panthers, Patriots and Commanders.