Wins by Vikings, Rams, Packers Push Bears to the Brink

Gene Chamberlain

The Bears took another step toward playoff elimination Sunday without even playing a game.

None of the teams ahead of the Bears in the playoff chase lost. As a result, the Bears (7-6) remained two games behind Minnesota for the final wild card spot and also still trail the Rams in that same race by essentially a game and a half with three to play.

The Bears stood to move up into a tie with the Rams if Los Angeles lost to Seattle Sunday night, but the Rams won 28-12. As a result the Rams are 8-5, a game behind the Vikings (9-4) for the wild card and a game ahead of the Bears. The Rams also own a tiebreaker edge on the Bears, so it's essentially a 1 1/2-game lead over the Bears.

The Vikings beat Detroit 20-7 Sunday to keep their one-game edge on the Rams and two-game lead on the Bears.

The Green Bay Packers pushed closer to eliminating the Bears in the NFC North Divisional race, as well.

The Packers beat Washington Sunday 20-15 and are 10-3. The Bears would be eliminated from the NFC North race if they lost to Green Bay next Sunday at Lambeau Field. 

The Bears would be eliminated in the wild-card race if they lost to Green Bay and the Vikings beat the Los Angeles Chargers next week.

The Bears still have games with Kansas City and the Vikings in addition to the Packers. Besides the Chargers next week, the Vikings must play Green Bay in Week 15 and then the finale with the Bears in Minnesota.

The remaining games for the Rams are at Dallas, at San Francisco and home with Arizona.

The best Bears shot for a wild card remains winning all their remaining games while the Rams lose twice and the Vikings lose one other game in addition to their rematch with the Bears.