All the ‘experts’ were surprised when the Bears beat the Philadelphia Eagles two weeks ago. Of course these are the same experts that picked the Vikings and Packers to be the teams to beat in the NFC. Not just the NFC North, but the entire NFC. They will be stunned once again, when the Bears win the North, and enter the playoffs as the number two seed.
In the West, The Rams and Seahawks both have 6-6 records, and the 49ers are actually still in contention at 4-8. One of these teams will get a playoff spot, regardless of how little they may deserve one. This division may be won with an 8-8, or even 7-9 record. Whoever wins it will even enjoy home-field advantage, for their first and almost certainly last game. Sure it’s not fair to other, better, teams, but that’s the way it works.
In the North, the Bears (9-3) lead the Packers (8-4). During the bye week, I wrote that the Bears and Packers might be playing for the NFC North title, in the last game of the season, on Jan 2. And that remains a likely scenario. But although the Bears remaining games are against tough opponents, they could conceivably run the table.
Yes, I saw MNF last night, with the Patriots destroying the NY Jets 45-3. But even the best teams have to lose once in a while. I have more to say on the subject, in our Bears Vs. Patriots StoryStream.
And the Jets, while also (9-3), have beaten only one team with a record over .500, the Patriots, earlier in the year. The Bears should be able to beat them in Chicago.
Between those two games, they’ll travel to Minnesota to play Brett Favre and the Vikings. If he’s still able to stand, this game will mark Favre’s 300th consecutive start. Chicago fans can expect yet another annoying retrospective on all things Brett. They can also expect a win.
Meanwhile the Packers will travel to Detroit, host the NY Giants, and go to New England. All prior to their showdown with the Bears, in the season finale.
The Packers remain a very good team, even with all the injuries they’ve overcome. They have depth that will serve them even better in seasons to come. They should be able to beat the Lions, who still haven’t figured out how to close a game. A victory against the Giants, is a less sure thing, even in Lambaugh.
And then of course, they have the Patriots, in Foxboro. Where Tom Brady hasn’t lost a game since 2006.
So, if the Bears take care of business at home, there’s a possibility, they’ll already have control of the NFC North.
Here's a link to a projected playoff preview chart, put together by the experts.