2010 NFL Playoff Picture: Bears Should Clinch; Showdown In The East For Week 15

Pity the Minnesota Vikings. For them, and for their fans, December is the cruelest month.Once considered a lock for the the NFC North crown, the end of the regular season finds them homeless, Favreless, and they will probably be the win that clinches playoff spots for two division races, on consecutive national night-game broadcasts.

In the East: The New York Giants and Philadelphia Eagles both have 9-4 records, and face each other in the Meadowlands Sunday. The next week finds the Giants in Green Bay facing the Packers, who should regain the services of Aaron Rodgers by then. They finish their season against the Washington Redskins.

The Eagles, would follow up their game with New York, at home Sunday night against the Vikings. They'll end their regular season in Dallas. A win in New York, coupled with a win over the Vikings should give Philly the NFC East crown. At the same time, it's possible that Giants and Packers will be battling for that last wild card spot two weeks from now.

In the North: This week the Chicago Bears will win the NFC North. There it is. The Green Bay Packers are going to lose to the New England Patriots in Foxboro, and the Bears will beat the Minnesota Vikings...somewhere, on Monday Night Football.

Packers QB Aaron Rodgers, will probably miss this next game. But it won't matter if he plays or not. As long as the Patriots still have home field to clinch, they'll continue their frightening dominance over all comers.

Rodgers suffered what was termed a concussion, earlier in the season, but he somehow didn't miss a game. I would expect that he won't be cleared for this weekend, which again, will have no effect on the outcome.

Brett Favre's streak of consecutive starts is over. But like Rodgers, it will not matter if Favre plays Monday night. Sure, it will matter to the people at Monday Night Football, as the montage they've no doubt been compiling of Brett's highlights will lose some of it's resonance if he's on the sidelines. But they'll show it anyway.

The NFL is expected to announce where the Monday night game will take place, later today. A Bears taem that was humiliated by the Patriots last week, will be eager to make a statement on national tv.

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