Seattle Helps Bears Out in Wild-Card Pursuit
The Seattle Seahawks helped out the Bears' remote playoff chances with Monday night's 34-30 win over the Minnesota Vikings.
By dealing Minnesota its fourth loss, it means the Bears cannot be eliminated in the wild-card chase if they lose Thursday to the Dallas Cowboys. The Vikings are 8-4, and the 6-6 Bears could now be no more than three games behind Minnesota in the wild-card chase with three games remaining.
Now two games behind the Vikings, the Bears also have a victory toward the tiebreaker in their back pockets courtesy of a 16-6 win over Minnesota earlier this year. They also have a better record in the division than Minnesota. The Bears are 3-1 in the NFC North while the Vikings are 1-2.
The schedule still heavily favors the Vikings, and they aren't even the Bears' only problem in the wild-card chase.
The Bears are a game behind the Los Angeles Rams (7-5) and the Rams own the tiebreaker on the Bears courtesy of a 17-7 victory when the two played in November. But the Rams do have games remaining against Dallas, Seattle and San Francisco.
Minnesota still plays a road game with the Los Angeles Chargers, and home games with the Packers, Lions and then Bears to close the season.
The most unlikely scenario in all Bears playoff shots is actually their own ability to win all four of their remaining games with the Cowboys, Packers, Chiefs and Vikings.
None of this concerns the Bears, at least the players. They've only been talking about only the game ahead since suffering the sixth loss against the Los Angeles Rams.
"We were not focused about what's coming up the last three games of the year, positioning ourselves with a better record last year, and we're not focused on trying to make the playoffs right now," coach Matt Nagy said. "That's not where we're at. We're focused on Dallas. Because if nothing happens with Dallas, then we got to reset again for the following week and see what the deal is.
"That's what we've talked about. It's reset. We're in reset mode. We're not happy about what's happened the last three or four weeks. It's important to do everything we can to go 1-0 at Soldier Field on Thursday night."
The key to all of this is for the Bears to be within one game of the Vikings heading into the season finale since they play the Vikings then. And they also would need the Rams to have at least the same number of losses or more defeats heading into the final game.